Quake Kills at Least 75 in Southeast Turkey

Posted October 23rd, 2011 at 1:05 pm (UTC-5)
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A powerful earthquake in Turkey's southeast has killed at least 75 people and injured 150 others.

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

Authorities say the town of Ercis is the hardest hit.

Officials say 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.

The city of Van also has damage and casualties. Television footage showed collapsed buildings and crushed vehicles in Van, and people using shovels and pry bars to claw through wreckage for survivors.

State television said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was traveling to Van late Sunday, and an emergency Cabinet meeting is set for Monday.

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