At least 31 killed in Turkey earthquake as death toll continues to rise

At least 31 killed in Turkey earthquake as death toll continues to rise
A powerful earthquake which rocked the Turkish province of Elazig has killed at least 31 people.
2 min read
26 January, 2020
Dozens were killed in the deadly earthquake [Getty]

The death toll from a powerful earthquake which struck eastern Turkey rose to 31, officials said on Sunday, as rescue efforts continued.

The magnitude 6.8 quake hit on Friday evening, with its epicentre in the small lakeside town of Sivrice in Elazig province but also affected neighbouring cities and countries.

The Turkish government's disaster and emergency management agency (AFAD) said 31 people died, the majority in Elazig but at least four in nearby Malatya, and 1,607 were injured.

Rescuers scrambled all of Saturday and searched Sunday to rescue people alive from under the rubble. The latest number of individuals rescued was 45, according to AFAD.

Nearly 80 buildings collapsed while 645 were heavily damaged in Elazig and Malatya, the agency said in a statement.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised Saturday that Turkey's housing agency TOKI would "do whatever is necessary and make sure no one is left without a home".

He attended the funeral of a woman and her son in Elazig Saturday, later visiting Malatya after cancelling a speech in Istanbul.


An aftershock with a 5.1 magnitude on Saturday night heightened residents' fears, with thousands rushing into the streets, shouting "earthquake, earthquake!"

There have been more than 500 aftershocks with magnitudes ranging between 1.0 an 5.1, according to the Turkish government's disaster and emergency management agency (AFAD), following Friday's quake which killed 31.

"Our building is old and there are small cracks. God knows if it will survive in the event of another earthquake. We'll stay here all night," Kasapoglu says.

"Our psychology has taken a hit. Earlier, my son ran out of the house shouting when a jacket fell off the coat rack.

"When I am at home, I watch the chandelier every minute to see if it does not swing," she adds.

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