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Turkey quake kills five, traps scores

10 November 2011, 08:40

Van, Turkey - An earthquake in eastern Turkey killed at least five people and scores more were trapped under the rubble of two hotels and a dozen other buildings, state television said Thursday, less than three weeks after another killed 600 in the same area.

The magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck 16 km (9 miles) south of the city of Van at 1923 GMT (7:23 p.m. British time) Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The tremor destroyed at least seven buildings, including two hotels in Van city, and around 14 other structures in other parts of the region, state television channel TRT said.

It said at least 100 people may still be trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings with one reporter saying up to 70 people may have been staying at one of the hotels.

Twenty one people have so far been rescued alive from the rubble of the two hotels, TRT said.

Rescue workers pulled a Japanese woman to safety from the rubble of the Bayram Hotel almost six hours after the quake, state-run Anatolian news agency reported.

Miyuki Konnai was part of a rescue and relief team sent to Van from Japan after the first quake. She was found injured but conscious and could be seen talking to her rescuers as she was carried to an ambulance.

Television footage showed panicked people running through the streets of Van and ambulances rushing through the city with their sirens wailing. Medical staff treated one unconscious person lying on an ambulance stretcher.

- Reuters


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