27 Dead: Rescuers Race to Find Turkey Quake Survivors

Bayrakli, Turkey, Oct 31 (AFP/APP): Rescuers raced against the clock Saturday to save people buried under rubble as hundreds spent a terrified night in tents after a powerful earthquake claimed 27 lives in Turkey and Greece.

The 7.0 magnitude quake killed 25 people and injured 804 on Turkey’s western coast after it struck Friday afternoon, with its epicentre off the coastal town of Seferihisar in Izmir province. Also killing two teenagers on their way home from school in Greece, it caused a mini-tsunami on the Aegean island of Samos and a sea surge that turned streets into rushing rivers in one Turkish coastal town.

In Bayrakli, Turkish families and friends looked on in agony, exhaustion and hope as workers painstakingly went through the rubble of two buildings which were completely flattened by the quake. Just five minutes across town, worried crowds watched as a black bag was taken away from another collapsed building in the early hours of Saturday.

“Let me see who it is!” one man shouted.

In small green spaces close to the damaged buildings, the municipality set up large white tents for the survivors while the health ministry’s medical rescue teams offered smaller tents for frightened families. Throughout the night, hot soup and water were available for those waiting outside as the temperature fell.

Azize Akkoyun watched as the rescuers worked. “Those curtains, they belonged to my daughter’s in-laws”, Akkoyun told AFP, as she waited for news. “We will wait all night. God willing they will come out alive”, she said, adding that they were unable to reach them by phone.

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