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TRT Channel said that over 40 people died and 156 were hurt in eastern Turkey

October 23, 2011, 20:05 UTC+3

About 80 buildings, among them residential, were damaged

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BAKU, October 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Azerbaijan has sent 120 rescuers to Turkey for assisting the cleanup of the aftermath of a powerful quake in the Van province, the Azerbaijani Emergency Situations Ministry said.

The rescuers are fully equipped and have dogs trained to find people under debris.

The Seismological Service of the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences said that tremors were felt in Nakhichevan in southeastern Azerbaijan and measured 3-3.5 points on the 12-point scale. There were neither casualties nor damage.

A quake of 7.2 points on the Richter scale happened in eastern Turkey on Sunday. The quake epicenter was located 35 kilometers northeast of Van.

TRT Channel said that over 40 people died and 156 were hurt in the Van province. The information will be updated further. Rescuers keep working in the quake-stricken area.

The quake happened in the day hours, which cut the number of casualties. About 80 buildings, among them residential, were damaged.

Eyewitnesses said that people left their homes in panic and refused to go back as long as the tremors continued. The quake disrupted power supply and telephone service.

Humanitarian aid was sent to the quake zone. The Turkish branch of the Red Crescent will open a temporary camp for quake victims in Van. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and some other government members went to the quake zone. Rescuers and regional officials are trying to reach remote villages for evaluating the damage.

The Van province is located within one of the most seismically unstable territories of Turkey. It regularly reports medium earthquakes. Several thousands of people have died in the Van province since the early 20th century because of the devastating quakes. Large quakes occurred in the beginning of the 20th century and in the 1940s.

The tremors were felt in other countries of the region, as well.

Tremors were felt in Georgian districts bordering on Turkey at 2:42 p.m. Moscow time on Sunday, seismologists told the media.

There is no information about the scale of the tremors in Georgia. There are no casualty reports either.

People in Armenia were alarmed by the powerful earthquake, which happened in Turkey and sent tremors to the entire region, including Georgia and Iran.

The tremors in Armenia measured three to five points on the twelve-point scale, the National Seismic Protection Service of the Armenian Emergency Situations Ministry said. There were neither casualties nor damage in the republic.

No Russians were hurt in the Sunday quake in Turkey, Federal Tourism Agency press secretary Oleg Moseyev told Itar-Tass.

“According to the preliminary information, the quake in eastern Turkey did not hurt any citizens of Russia. The data will be double-checked. Hopefully, it will be confirmed tomorrow,” he said.

The Turkish province of Van, from the quake spread, “is not a place frequented by Russian tourists,” he said. “We receive current information from the Russian consulate and the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry. We will continue the monitoring.”


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