Strong earthquake hits Turkey

An earthquake in Turkey’s kills more than 50 people and injures at least 50 others.

The earthquake occurred on 8 March 2010 at 02:32 UTC. The epicentre of the quake was Başyurt in Elâzığ province. According to global news channels, at least 57 people were killed.

Another 100 or more have been hospitalised, many after falling and jumping from buildings during the quake. A stampede through the streets led to further injuries. The death toll is continuing to rise.

Many people used vehicles and taxis to drive to the hospital. Most were asleep at the time the quake struck, with four sleeping sisters perishing in one house. Farm animals were also killed, and minarets fell down.

According to officials, most of the deaths occurred in three villages: Okçular, Yukarı Kanatlı and Kayalı. At least five villages, though, suffered loss of life. Villagers fled buildings, spending the night outside and lighting fires in the streets for warmth.

The earthquake came one week to the day after the Turkish Chamber of Civil Engineers sent a report to parliament detailing inadequate building projects and the possibility that Istanbul would be destroyed by an earthquake, which could kill tens of thousands of people, at some point in the next three decades.

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