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Temblor shakes quake-stricken eastern Turkey

By Ivan Watson and Gul Tuysuz, CNN
updated 4:00 AM EST, Tue November 15, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Van is still reeling from two devastating earthquakes
  • There were no immediate reports of casualties from the latest quake
  • Much of Van feels like a ghost town

Istanbul, Turkey (CNN) -- A 5.2-magnitude temblor shook the earthquake stricken eastern Turkish region of Van shortly after midnight on Tuesday.

It followed a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 600 people in the region last month, and a subsequent 5.6-magnitude earthquake last week which killed at least 40 people.

An official with the natural disaster and emergency coordination directorate in Van told CNN so far, there had been no casualties as a result of Tuesday's pre-dawn tremors. The official, who said he was not authorized to be have his name published in the media, said that one building in the center of the city collapsed.

The earthquake clearly sparked fear throughout an already traumatized population.

"It was horrible. It woke me up. My brother was screaming. I didn't know what was going on," said Gulay Daglar.

Like many other residents of Van, she had been living in a tent outside her family's house, fearing its possible collapse due to aftershocks.

"We're afraid to go back into our homes," said Sefa Yildizbasi, a government worker in Van. "They call them aftershocks but it's not like that. It's like a nuclear bomb went off underneath us."

Much of Van feels like a ghost town. Many residents have fled the region.

Those who remain live for the most part in government-distributed tents or makeshift shelters in the streets.

Miserable conditions deteriorated on Friday when a blizzard blew through the mountainous region.

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