At least 29 people have been killed and at least 1,070 injured in a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck eastern Turkey on Friday, according to statements made shortly after 10.30 by Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu. According to the Turkish Minister, rescue teams were able to pull out 39 people alive from the ruins of buildings, while he added that about 400 aftershocks were recorded.
The Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said 433 people were injured in the Elazig province and 222 in the neighbouring Malatya province.
Interior Minister Soylu said the injured were taken to hospitals and units opened for those affected by the earthquake.
Turkish authorities fear the number of casualties will rise, as many buildings have collapsed.
“About 30 people are trapped under rubble in Elazig,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, adding that search and rescue operations were ongoing, while expressed fears the death toll could rise.
AFAD reported 118 aftershocks measuring 2.7 to 5.4 degrees had been recorded. Hundreds of tents, beds and thousands of blankets have been sent to the affected cities.
Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said the army is ready to assist if necessary.