After the massive earthquake in the Aegean Sea, which killed countless people, rescue workers in the western Turkish city of Izmir continue their search for survivors. On Saturday, search parties rescued three children and their mother alive from the rubble of an eight-story building to applause, state broadcaster TRT reported.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca later told reporters that one of the children had died. According to the broadcaster, a fourth buried child has to be found. The rescuers could have contacted the woman earlier.
“When you hear my voice, knock three times,” shouted one helper. The woman then gave a beep. According to Environment and City Minister Murat Kurum, a total of 100 people have been rescued from the rubble. About 5000 rescue workers and 20 search dogs are in action.
The death toll in Turkey rose to 35 by the beginning of Saturday night, Koca announced. 823 were injured, 8 of whom were treated in intensive care. Two people died on the Greek island of Samos.
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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered his condolences to the families of the victims and promised to quickly rebuild destroyed buildings in Turkey. “Every earthquake reminds us that our country is in a dangerous (seismological) area,” he added.
The State Department currently has no evidence of Germans dead and wounded. The embassy in the Greek capital Athens and the consulate in Izmir, Turkey, are still in contact with the responsible authorities, the ministry said Friday evening.
According to Mayor Tunc Soyer, Mayor of Izmir, thousands of people spent the night in emergency shelters. Tents were set up and helpers distributed food in parks, as shown in photos.
Video 31 October 2020, 9:57 AM 01:01 min Earthquake in the Aegean Sea: many dead and hundreds injured
Also on Samos, according to Greek media, people slept in the open air, in cars or without a roof over their heads for fear of aftershocks. There were initially no reports of affected tourists – the high season in the Aegean is over anyway and travel is limited due to the corona pandemic.
Meanwhile, the earth continued to shake – all night and also on Saturday morning there were aftershocks, some of which reached a strength of 4 and more. According to Afad disaster response authority, there was an aftershock with a magnitude of 5.0 in the region of the western Turkish district of Seferihisar on Saturday morning.
The first earthquake on Friday at 2:51 p.m. local time (12:51 p.m. CET) had a magnitude of 6.6, according to the Turkish Disaster Bureau. The center was therefore in the Aegean Sea off the Turkish province of Izmir. The USGS, which is responsible for earthquakes, even stated that the magnitude of the earthquake was 7.
Schools in Izmir are closed for a week
According to the initial findings, the earthquake was very close to the surface. It should also have been exceptionally long at about 30 seconds, as announced by Samos Town Hall. Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu wrote on Twitter that six buildings have collapsed and other buildings have been damaged.
According to various reports, the quake should have been felt in the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul and as far as the Greek capital Athens.
According to the provincial governor, at least four buildings have completely collapsed in Izmir. The Bayrakli district of the coastal city was particularly hard hit. According to official information, the helpers continued to search for survivors in eight buildings on Saturday. Schools in Izmir were closed for a week.
At least six people died in the Mediterranean earthquake and tsunami in Turkey and Greece Photo: Eurokinissi / dpa
There were dramatic scenes at night. A woman named Buse Hasyilmaz became the symbol of the catastrophe: she was rescued from the rubble of a seven-story building after nearly ten hours and could have contacted helpers by phone.
Bystanders and emergency services applauded as they were taken away on a stretcher. Another woman and a 16-year-old girl were rescued from a collapsed building after 17 hours, Minister Kurum said. TRT footage showed helpers rescue a cat from the rubble.
Time and again the emergency services insisted on silence in order to hear voices. A crane lifted concrete blocks from the rubble. According to the latest information, about 5,000 search and rescue teams and 20 search dogs were in action.
Second big tsunami wave is not coming true
According to reports in Greek media, two 17-year-old youths were found dead on Samos on Friday afternoon. The girl and boy were on their way home from school to the small town of Vathy when the walls of a house collapsed as a result of the earthquake in a narrow alley.
Both on Samos and on the Turkish west coast, the water overflowed its banks after the earthquake on Friday during a tsunami. The Helmholtz Center in Potsdam classified the tsunami as moderate, a second major wave failed to show up against isolated warnings.
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Photos of Samos showed cars washed away, which then came to a stop on the other side of the street; Shops and cellars were flooded. Turkey is very prone to earthquakes. In January, two earthquakes in the eastern Turkish cities of Elazig and Malatya killed more than 40 people.
Turkey is one of the countries most affected by earthquakes in the world. In August 1999, more than 17,000 people died in an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale.
Turkish President Erdogan addressed the population in a speech on Friday evening. By all means help the people affected by the earthquake. Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis offered each other assistance in a phone call, Anadolu reported.
Mitsotakis expressed his condolences to Turkey on Twitter, writing, “Whatever our disagreements, these are times when people need to support each other.” Erdogan also thanked him on Twitter, replying, “Having two neighbors showing solidarity in troubled times is more important than much in life.”
The governments in Athens and Ankara are currently being crossed over controversial gas explorations in Turkey and border disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Charles Michel, President of the EU Council, has helped Turkey and Greece after the massive earthquake in the Eastern Aegean Sea. “My thoughts are with everyone who has it,” Michel wrote on Twitter on Friday. “The EU is ready to provide support.” Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also offered assistance. (dpa, AFP)