A 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Turkey has killed over 200 people. The quake which struck the east of the country on Sunday did not affect a major tourist area, although the death toll could be very high and there are fears that up to 1,000 people could have died due to low housing standards and the force of the quake.
In the USA, scientists recorded over one hundred aftershocks in eastern Turkey within 10 hours of the quake, including one of 6.0. A spokesperson from Turkey’s main seismography earthquake tracking centre said he feared the death toll could exceed 500 and possibly be as high as 1,000.
Ercis, a town in the mountainous province of Van close to the Iranian border, was at the centre of the quake and some areas up to 55 miles to the south of the epicentre also suffered a lot of damage.
Foreign secretary William Hague has already offered UK assistance as the death toll from the natural disaster rises, saying the quake had “caused immense destruction, resulting in terrible loss of life".
"I send my deepest condolences to the friends and loved ones of those who have died or been affected.”
“My thoughts are with those who are anxiously awaiting news from the rescue efforts. The UK is ready to provide assistance, in line with any request from the Turkish authorities. We stand with Turkey at this difficult time."
Turkish minister for the interior Mr. Sahin said 1,090 people were known to have been injured and hundreds were missing and rescue efforts are fully underway. No electricity and the fact that many buildings have collapsed trapping families under them (the region’s traditional adobe construction method makes them particularly vulnerable to tremors) is making the rescue effort difficult.