At least 8,000 people rescued from debris in Turkey with 380,000 taking refuge in shelters
More than 8,000 people so far have been pulled from the debris in Turkey, said the Turkish vice-president, Fuat Oktay. About 380,000 people have taken refuge in government shelters or hotels, with others huddling in shopping malls, stadiums, mosques and community centres.
Associated Press reports that many people have posted to social media to plead for assistance for loved ones believed to be trapped under rubble, with Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency quoting interior ministry officials as saying that all calls were being “collected meticulously” and the information relayed to search teams.
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said 13 million people among the country’s population of 85 million were affected in some way. He has declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces in order to manage the response. Turkey said it would only allow vehicles carrying aid to enter the worst-hit provinces of Kahramanmaraş, Adıyaman and Hatay in order to speed the effort.
Turkey has large numbers of troops in the border region with Syria and has tasked the military to aid in the rescue efforts, including setting up tents for the homeless and a field hospital in Hatay province. The defence minister, Hulusi Akar, said a humanitarian aid brigade based in Ankara and eight military search and rescue teams had also been deployed.
Death toll in earthquake reaches 6,000
The death toll has reached 6,000 with the search for survivors ongoing, according to the Associated Press.
The Turkish defence ministry says the fire at Iskenderun Port on the Mediterranean Sea has been extinguished, Reuters reports.
After the earthquake struck on Monday, images and videos showed burning containers and thick black smoke rising overhead.