Magnitude 5.6 quake hits Turkey in latest major aftershock
Authorities say least one person dead in factory collapse in region still reeling from earlier devastation.
A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has hit eastern Turkey, killing at least one person and wounding dozens while causing some damaged buildings to collapse.
Monday’s earthquake became the latest major tremor to rock southern Turkey as the region rebuilds from earlier massive quakes that killed more than 50,000 people across southern Turkey and northwest Syria.
The latest quake was centred in the town of Yesilyurt in Malatya province, the country’s disaster management agency (AFAD) said, adding that one person was killed when a factory collapsed in Kahramanmaras, the epicentre of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit the region on February 6, and 69 others were injured.
Yesilyurt’s Mayor Mehmet Cinar told HaberTurk television that a number of buildings in the town collapsed, including a four-storey building where a father and daughter were trapped.
Cinar said the pair had entered the damaged building to collect belongings.
AFAD said that 32 people were saved in Malatya after the latest tremor.
Television images showed the man being carried on a stretcher into an ambulance, while rescue teams were trying to make contact with his daughter inside the damaged building.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged the shortcomings of his government’s response to the February 6 earthquakes as he spoke at a news conference in Adiyaman, one of the provinces hardest hit by the disaster.
“In the first days, we were not able to conduct work as efficiently as we wanted to in Adiyaman, for reasons such as the destructive impact of the tremors, adverse weather and challenges due to the damaged infrastructure,” Erdogan said, asking for the understanding of Adiyaman residents on Monday.
Al Jazeera’s Teresa Bo, reporting from Gaziantep, said the quake was also felt by people living in temporary camps after being displaced by the earlier quakes.
“The earthquake was also felt here in the centre of Gaziantep, right where those who have been affected by the earthquakes that happened on February 6 are living now inside tents. It generated fear and anguish once again,” Bo said.
The United Nations has said at least 1.5 million people have been made homeless in southern Turkey, with more than 500,000 homes needing to be rebuilt.
Nearly 10,000 aftershocks have been reported since February 6, according to AFAD.
Last week, Turkey said about 865,000 people were living in tents and 23,500 were in container homes, while 376,000 were in student dormitories and public guesthouses outside the earthquake zone.
The latest quake comes days after Turkey began an operation to relocate people living in tents to container cities, with the first phase set to move people into 15,000 containers.
Turkish authorities have expanded a criminal probe into individuals responsible for buildings levelled by the deadly earthquake that left millions without homes.
The government has also been accused of lax safety enforcement ahead of the quakes.