The death toll from a powerful earthquake which struck eastern Turkey (Kurdistan Turkey) rose to 31, officials said Sunday, as rescue efforts continued.
The magnitude 6.8 quake hit on Friday evening, with its epicenter in the small lakeside town of Sivrice in Elazig province but also affected neighboring cities and countries.
The Turkish government’s disaster and emergency management agency (AFAD) said 31 people died, the majority in al aziz but at least four in nearby Malatya, and 1,607 were injured.
Rescuers scrambled all of Saturday and searched Sunday to rescue people alive from under the rubble. The latest number of individuals rescued was 45, according to AFAD.
Nearly 80 buildings collapsed while 645 were heavily damaged in Al aziz and Malatya, the agency said in a statement.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised Saturday that Turkey’s housing agency TOKI would “do whatever is necessary and make sure no one is left without a home.”
He attended the funeral of a woman and her son in Al aziz Saturday, later visiting Malatya after cancelling a speech in Istanbul.