Turkey: Search and rescue efforts completed after quake

Disaster agency says all search and rescue efforts are over in Izmir province after powerful quake last week

All search and rescue efforts were declared complete on Wednesday in the western Izmir province after an earthquake shook Turkey’s Aegean region last week, authorities announced.

On Twitter, Mehmet Gulluoglu, the head of Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), thanked the disaster workers and volunteers who served in the search and rescue efforts in the quake-hit city.

On Friday, a magnitude 6.6 quake rattled Izmir, Turkey’s third-largest city and home to more than 4.3 million people.

Speaking at a news conference, Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum said work to remove debris has started, with teams continuing search and rescue efforts only at one site.

He urged people to have their buildings inspected for quake resistance.

“We will make on-site applications at debris of 17 buildings and surrounding buildings seen risky,” Kurum said, adding that new residence buildings to be built will be five-story at most.

The total amount of financial aid the government has provided for quake victims for moving and rent has reached 2.86 million Turkish liras (some $337,200) so far, he added.

With 22,000 buildings inspected to assess the extent of damage, 180 have been found to be severely damaged and destroyed, the minister stated.

In the wake of the earthquake, public guesthouses across the city are available to host victims with a capacity of almost 7,600 people, Kurum said, adding that 208 people are currently being hosted there.

“We are setting up 1,000 [temporary housing] containers in Bayrakli [district] at the first step, the work started yesterday, we will deliver it 19 days later,” he added.

The death toll from last week’s powerful earthquake has risen to 114, authorities said early on Wednesday.

As many as 137 victims are still receiving treatment, while 898 have been discharged from hospitals, according to AFAD.

A total of 1,621 aftershocks 44 of them with a magnitude higher than 4 have been recorded after the earthquake, the agency said.

Turkey is among the world’s most seismically active zones and has suffered devastating earthquakes in the past, including the magnitude 7.6 Marmara quake in 1999.

Anadolu Agency

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