Quake Kills at Least 60 in Southeastern Turkey

Posted October 23rd, 2011 at 12:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Turkish state television reports at least 60 people killed and 150 injured after a strong earthquake in southeastern Turkey near the border with Iran.

The magnitude 7.2 quake struck Van province Sunday afternoon . Several strong aftershocks were recorded.

The town of Ercis is the hardest hit.

Authorities in Ercis are quoted as saying the wreckage includes multi-floor buildings, hotels and a dormitory. Survivors said cries from those trapped in the rubble were heard hours after the quake. The mayor of Ercis issued a call for urgent aid, saying there are many dead.

Television footage showed collapsed buildings and crushed vehicles in the nearby city of Van and people using shovels and pry bars to claw through wreckage for survivors.

Major geological fault lines cross the region and small earthquakes are a frequent occurrence.