A 7.2 magnitude earthquake has hit Turkey over the weekend leaving scenes of devastation and tragedy as buildings have been reduced to rubble with rescue teams working overtime as they desperately search for people trapped under the fallen structures.
Buildings reduced to nothing
Now that the devastation has been understood it is estimated that 239 people have lost their lives and a further 1,300 are now injured after being caught in the earthquake. The eastern region of Turkey has been the worst hit, more specifically the city of Ercis where buildings in double figures have been reduced to nothing.
With the intensity if the quake, the government has been left shocked and many thousands of people have been staying and sleeping overnight in freezing cold conditions. The area affected has been visited by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to show his support and get an understanding of the dire circumstances from a first person view.
Turkey usually experiences little earthquakes throughout the year since the country sits on geographical fault lines. Back in 1999 an earthquake which measured more than 7 killed nearly 20,000 in parts of the north-west of the country.
The US Geological Survey have said that the earthquake hit at 1.41pm in Turkey at a depth of 12 miles The epicentre of the quake was 16km north-east of Van in eastern Turkey.
Aftershocks followed which were powerful in their own right with Van being hit by two which measured 5.6 and 6.0.
Lack of heavy machinery
Many of the rescue services had rushed to the scene, with ambulances, soldiers and rescue teams all at hand to help survivors. However, survivors had complained of a lack heavy machinery to move chunks of building out of the way which had ended up on each other.
Mustafa Erdik of the Kandilli Observatory said: “We estimate around 1,000 buildings are damaged and our estimate is for hundreds of lives lost – it could be 500 or 1,000.”