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At least 5 dead in quake in eastern Turkey

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:18 PM EST, Wed November 9, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • More than 100 people are buried under rubble
  • 25 buildings are reported to have collapsed
  • Two TV reporters buried under rubble are alive
  • The area was devastated by a magnitude 7.2 temblor in October

(CNN) -- At least five people died and more than 100 others were buried under rubble from a magnitude-5.7 earthquake that struck eastern Turkey Wednesday night, officials said.

The death toll came from Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay, who spoke to reporters while visiting the stricken zone. He said the deaths occurred when two hotels collapsed. Another 20 people were rescued from the crumbled structures, he said.

In all, 25 buildings collapsed, but 22 of them had been empty since a 7.2 earthquake devastated parts of eastern Turkey, including the area around Van, on October 23. Last month's quake killed more than 500 people.

Eighteen people were rescued, said CNN Turk, which had a reporter in the area.

The epicenter was 16 kilometers (9 miles) south of the town of Van, the U.S. Geological Survey said, and its depth was 4.8 kilometers (3 miles). The quake struck at 9:23 p.m. (2:23 p.m. ET), it said.

DHA, a CNN partner station in Turkey, reported that two of its reporters were buried under rubble. Its journalists' Twitter messages indicated they were alive.

Video from DHA in Van showed residents and rescuers pulling a man out of the rubble on the stretcher, apparently conscious and wearing an oxygen mask, his arms folded across his chest.

It was not immediately clear whether the man was one of the DHA journalists.

Floodlights bathed the nighttime scene as dozens of people combed through rubble of what appeared to have been a multistory building. A front-end loader pawed through the large piles of smashed concrete.

Five planes were being prepared in Ankara to take rescuers to Van, according to state news agency Anadolu. The agency also reported an aftershock of magnitude 4.4.

Parts of eastern Turkey, including the area around Van, were devastated by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on October 23, which killed more than 500 people.

CNN's Hande Atay-Alam in Atlanta and Journalist Andrew Finkel in Turkey contributed to this report.

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