Search for Turkish quake survivors go on

Rescue teams pull a teacher out of the rubble in Ecris, six days after being buried.

    The death toll after the  7.2 magnitude earthquake in eastern Turkey now stands at 582  [Reuters]

    Turkish rescue teams are still looking for survivors at four collapsed buildings six days after a powerful earthquake.

    Authorities said the death toll in the 7.2-magnitude earthquake is now 582. They said 455 of them died in the hardest-hit city of Ercis in eastern Turkey.

    Searchers on Saturday pulled out a 27-year-old teacher alive from a crumbled building and continued drilling through the wreckage in search of two other missing people.

    On Friday a 13-year-old boy was pulled out alive from the rubble of a collapsed building in Ercis, coming 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. He was dehydrated but in good condition, the Anatolia news agency said.

    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

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, acknowledged on Wednesday that the government had been slow to respond, after officials were criticised over their response to the crisis.

    "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.

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

    "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."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.