Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Saturday the death toll from an earthquake in the eastern part of the country has increased to 22.
"Four people died in Malatya's Doganyol [town] and 18 others in Elazig," he said at a news conference on Saturday.
The number has risen from initial reports indicating about 14 deaths.
Five buildings collapsed in Elazig and a number of buildings in the area were heavily damaged, Minister of Environment and Urbanization Murat Kurum told reporters.
Rescuers pulled at least 42 from the damaged and collapsed buildings, Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Authority said.
The earthquake was followed by 401 aftershocks, 14 of which were over 4-magnitude, the emergency agency said.
The Disaster and Emergency Authority said 1,243 people were injured and in hospitals, mostly in Elazig and Malatya. In the city of Elazig, search and rescue operations were underway in the wreckage of three buildings. Elazig airport is operational.
The agency shipped thousands of tents, beds and blankets to the region. The Turkish Red Crescent sent additional aid including mobile kitchens, which served up to 5,000 people, and heaters.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said all relevant departments were taking action to ensure citizens' safety.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported about 500,000 people felt strong to very strong shaking.
The earthquake was also felt in other countries, such as Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.