Turkey earthquake kills at least 22, topples buildings

A woman was pulled from the rubble Saturday, about 14 hours after a strong earthquake hit Turkey’s Eastern province of Elazig, about 350 miles east of Ankara.

At least 22 died and 1,100 people were injured, 34 seriously, in the 6.8 magnitude quake, which hit shortly before 9 p.m. local time Friday. Rescue workers continued to comb through collapsed buildings, as aftershocks continued Saturday.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, speaking at a televised news conference near the epicenter, said 39 people had been rescued from the rubble of collapsed buildings, including the woman. She was saved after calling her relatives from her mobile phone and telling them where she was trapped, the BBC reported.

More than 20 people are still missing.

The Turkish disaster agency said nearly 400 aftershocks, the strongest with magnitudes 5.4 and 5.1, followed the main quake. At least five buildings collapsed in the town of Sivrice, a lakeside tourist town of about 4,000 people. Another 25 buildings in neighboring Malatya province were destroyed, The Associated Press reported.

Turkish armed forces were on the ground to assist in the recovery, handing out tents, beds and blankets as temperatures overnight dropped below freezing. Mosques, schools, sports halls and student dormitories were opened for hundreds who left their homes after the quake.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter overnight that all measures were being taken to “ensure that the earthquake that occurred in Elazig and was felt in many provinces is overcome with the least amount of loss.”

State media in Syria and Iran both reported the earthquake was felt in those countries

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