Quake in Turkey kills seven, topples buildings

Quake in Turkey kills seven, topples buildings

Twenty-three people were found alive from the wreckage and seven lost their lives during the quake, according to the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency.
The earlier toll announced by the deputy prime minister, Besir Atalay, stood at five. It was not clear how many people were trapped under the rubble.

Television footage showed rescue teams trying to find possible survivors.
The quake occurred at 1923 GMT yesterday, with the epicentre in the Edremit district, some 15 kilometres from the Van province, according to the Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory. The USGS put the magnitude at 5.6, after having earlier put it at 5.7.

The quake collapsed 25 buildings, 22 of which were empty, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said from the scene.

"Search and rescue operations are continuing in three buildings," he added.
The quake sowed fresh panic among residents.

Two of the collapsed buildings were hotels, private NTV television said. One six-storey hotel in the Van city centre was mostly occupied by journalists and teams from the Turkish Red Crescent.

The number of people in the hotels was not known, which was why the toll might rise.
The US Geological Survey said the epicentre was 16 kilometres south of Van, with its depth given as five kilometres.