3 dead in 5.6-magnitude quake in Turkey

Nov. 9, 2011 at 8:27 PM

VAN, Turkey, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A 5.6-magnitude earthquake shook eastern Turkey Wednesday night knocking down buildings and killing at least three people, officials said.

Today's Zaman reported the state-run TRT television network said the death toll was at least three and more than 50 people were believed trapped in the rubble of toppled buildings. The English-language newspaper said about 20 buildings were reported to have collapsed in Van, located in the region hit by a quake that killed hundreds less than three weeks ago.

Turkish media said voices of victims could be heard calling from under debris and that rescuers using high-powered lights to illuminate the disaster scene, had pulled at least 10 people to safety, Today's Zaman reported.

Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay said a hotel, a school and a number of mud brick homes were among the structures destroyed.

Today's Zaman reported search-and-rescue teams were sent to the six-story Bayram Hotel in Van to assess the situation. The said Turkish state television reported an office building also was toppled. Other buildings were damaged, as well.

Today's Zaman said state television channel TRT Haber showed workers searching through the rubble of at least two buildings and people running through the streets as ambulances with sirens sounding rushed to the scene.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 9:23 p.m. quake occurred at a depth of 3.1 miles and was centered about 9 miles south of Van, 56 miles west-northwest of Hakkari, 76 miles northwest of Sirnak and 577 miles east of Ankara.

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake that hit the region Oct. 23 killed more than 600 people and left thousands of others homeless.

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