Earthquake in Eastern Turkey Kills 270, With Numbers Rising

On Oct. 23 a 7.2-magnitude earthquake devastated eastern Turkey around the city of Van. Turkey’s Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahim said the death toll rose to 270 as of today and leveled many buildings, reported ABC. In addition, about 1,000 people are reported injured, according to The New York Times.

According to a representative of the Turkish Tourist Office, Ecris, the area most affected by the earthquake, is 1550 miles from Istanbul, 1130 miles from Ankara and 1190 miles from Kusadasi. These popular tourist areas, as well as Izmir, Antalya and Cappadocia, remain safe for visitors.

Aftershocks of up to 6.0-magnitude registered within 10 hours of the initial quake, which hit at 1:41 p.m. on Sunday. In total about 120 aftershocks were recorded.

Sahim said 80 multi-story buildings collapsed in the town of Ercis, population 75,000. People were trapped in half of these buildings, said Sahim. The New York Times reports the earthquake killed 120 here. In Van 100 people were reported dead.

According to Prime Minister Besir Atalay 7,000 tents were distributed to residents in Van and 5,000 in Ercis. Also field kitchens are set up to host 25,000 people. Rescue teams continue to pull people from the rubble in the area around Van.

The epicenter of the Earthquake was in the village of Tabanli, near the Iranian border, according to ABC.

Turkey sits on major geological fault lines and thus is susceptible to earthquakes, reported ABC. In 1999 an earthquake in Turkey killed 18,000.

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