Death toll rises in Turkey quake

Rescuers in Turkey have pulled several more survivors from the rubble in the aftermath of October 24 earthquake that officials say killed 279 people and injured more than 1,000 others.

Officials say the magnitude 7.2 quake near Turkey's border with Iran did the most damage in the town of Ercis, about 90 kilometers north of the city of Van. The death toll from the quake is expected to rise.

Tents are set up for survivors after a strong earthquake collapsed buildings in Ercis, Turkey on October 24, 2011.

Hundreds of rescuers worked through the night with heavy equipment to lift fallen slabs of concrete hoping to find survivors. The government says dozens of large buildings collapsed in the quake.

The earthquake shut down electricity and water in several areas. More than 100 aftershocks have shaken the area since the quake hit, including one with a magnitude of 6.1.

World leaders sent condolences and offers of help to Turkey. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and President Serzh Sarkisian of Armenia made a joint phone call to Turkish President Abdullah Gul to express their sympathies.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was saddened to learn of the loss of life from the quake. He praised Turkish authorities for their rapid response to the disaster and said the UN remains ready to offer help, if requested

AFP

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