Skip to main content

Dozens dead from earthquake in Turkey

By Ivan Watson and Yesim Comert, CNN
Turkish television showed civilians digging with shovels in the rubble of collapsed buildings.
Turkish television showed civilians digging with shovels in the rubble of collapsed buildings.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Pre-dawn quake kills at least 38, local official says
  • 5.8-magnitude quake struck in country's Kovancilar district
  • Rescue workers, aid groups en route to area that was struck
RELATED TOPICS
  • Turkey
  • Earthquakes

Istanbul, Turkey (CNN) -- A pre-dawn earthquake collapsed homes and killed at least 38 people in a mountainous region of southeastern Turkey on Monday, government officials said.

About 100 people were injured when the magnitude-5.8 earthquake struck at 4:32 a.m., according to officials.

The quake struck in Elazig province, with the village of Okcular the worst hit, according to Ozcan Yalcin, the press secretary for the province's governor.

About five hours later, a magnitude-5.5 aftershock shook the region, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That followed at least 40 other aftershocks up to 4.4 magnitude, the prime minister's press office said.

No casualties were reported immediately after the aftershocks.

At least 38 people were killed in the initial quake, Kovancilar Mayor Bekir Yanilmaz told CNN Turk, CNN's sister network.

"Many houses have collapsed," the prime minister's office said.

"Search and rescue teams have been sent to the area," the prime minister's office added. The Turkish Red Crescent also is sending tents and blankets, while additional ambulances are being brought from neighboring districts.

Turkish television showed injured residents being rushed to hospitals, and paramilitary officers, police and civilians digging with shovels in the rubble of collapsed buildings.

The country lies on active fault lines and is periodically pummeled by deadly earthquakes. In 1999, two powerful earthquakes hit heavily populated areas near Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, killing at least 20,000 people.

 
Quick Job Search