Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 6 December 2020

Turkey earthquake death toll rises as rescue mission continues

At least 58 people were killed after powerful earthquake hit the western city of Izmir and parts of Greece

The death toll caused by a magnitude 6.6 earthquake that hit the Turkish city of Izmir on the Turkish Aegean on Friday has risen to 58.

Rescue workers rescued a 70-year-old man from a collapsed building in western Turkey on Sunday, 34 hours after a strong earthquake in the Aegean Sea struck Turkey and Greece, killing at least 58 people and injuring more than 900.

A mother and three of her children were pulled to safety on Saturday after being trapped for almost 18 hours under a building.

Two teenagers were killed on the Greek island of Samos when a wall fell on them. Efforts to rescue survivors continued, but more people were feared dead.

A magnitude 5 quake struck in the Aegean Sea near Izmir on Saturday, but it was not yet clear if there was any further danger to civilians.

The Disaster Management Agency Authority announced the new figures early on Saturday. At least 743 were injured in Izmir, and 54 in neighbouring provinces. Rescuers worked through the night, and videos of people being pulled from the rubble were shared on social media.

Early on Saturday, onlookers cheered as rescuers lifted teenager Inci Okan out of the rubble of a eight-floor apartment block. Friends and relatives waited outside the building for news of loved ones trapped inside, including employees of a ground floor dental surgery.

Two women, aged 53 and 35, were rescued from the rubble of two-story building.

The disaster also triggered a number of small tsunamis in the region, and the DMAA said one of the fatalities was a result of drowning. At least 20 buildings were destroyed.

The quake was felt across the eastern Greek islands and as far as Athens and in Bulgaria. At least 19 people were injured on Samos, with two, including a 14-year-old, flown to Athens and seven in hospital on the island, health authorities said.

"I would like to express condolences for those that lost their lives as a result of the earthquake and I wish a speedy recovery for those that are injured," Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

Turkey's state run Anadolu Agency reported that Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 435 people were receiving treatment, while 25 were in intensive care and nine were in for surgery.

The western city of Izmir is Turkey’s third-largest by population.

Authorities told residents not to return to damaged buildings, saying they could collapse in strong aftershocks.

More than 3,000 rescue personnel were sent to Izmir, as well as relief supplies. The Turkish Red Crescent set up kitchens.

Updated: November 3, 2020 10:55 AM

Editor's Picks
THE DAILY NEWSLETTER
Sign up to our daily email
Most Read