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More survivors found after Turkey quake
Rescue teams pull two people out of the rubble, more than 100 hours after they were buried under collapsed buildings.
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 14:25
Some homeless survivors have been forced to sleep in the open in freezing cold due to shortages of tents [AFP]

A 13-year-old boy has been pulled alive from the rubble of a collapsed building in the eastern Turkish town of Ercis, more than 100 hours after an earthquake killed at least 530 people.

Ferhat Tokay's rescue early on Friday came just hours after rescue workers found another survivor, 18-year-old Imdat Padak, after burrowing deep into the ruins in Ercis for more than two days.

Padak was flown to the nearby city of Van and was dehydrated, but in good condition, according to Anatolia news agency.

With most search operations beginning to wind down, about 185 people have been found alive under the collapsed buildings since the quake struck on Sunday, according to an official count.

Some homeless survivors have been forced to sleep in the open in freezing cold due to shortage of tents and other relief materials.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies put the number of "affected people" at 50,000. About 2,000 buildings have been destroyed and authorities declared another 3,700 buildings unfit for habitation.

Slow response

Officials have been criticised over their response to the crisis, with some accused of handing aid to supporters of the ruling AK Party in the mostly Kurdish region, while others said profiteers were hoarding tents and reselling them.

There have also been reports of aid lorries being looted in Ercis and Van, the worst affected towns.

Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught reports on
the challenges facing rescue workers

"Everyone is getting sick and wet. We have been waiting in line for four days like this and still nothing. It gets to our turn and they say they have run out," Fetih Zengin, an estate agent whose house was badly damaged in Ercis, said.

"We slept under a piece of plastic erected on some wood boards we found. We have 10 children in our family, they are getting sick. Everyone needs a tent, snow is coming. It's a disaster."

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, acknowledged on Wednesday that the government had been slow to respond.

"We admit that we failed in the beginning, within the first 24 hours. We acknowledge flaws but these mistakes are pretty normal in such incidents," he said.

International aid

International aid started to reach the affected region on Thursday. The first batches of aid, including prefabricated housing, came from France, Ukraine and Israel.

Theresa May, the British home secretary, who is in Turkey for a visit, said London would send 1,144 protective winter tents.

Saudi King Abdullah ordered a $50m donation to help Turkey deal with the aftermath of the quake, the official Saudi Press Agency said.

Sunday's quake was Turkey's most powerful since a pair of earthquakes in 1999 in northwestern Turkey killed more than 20,000 people.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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