INDEPENDENT NEWS

Turkish Quake Survivors Struggle For Food, Shelter

Published: Tue 16 Nov 1999 02:14 PM
The survivors of Turkeys second big earthquake in three months are struggling to find food and shelter and many are fleeing the area, fearful of yet another big quake.
The death toll from Friday’s quake – a 7.2 jolt on the Richter Scale – has killed 452 and left nearly 2,500 injured in the North western provinces of Bolu.
Rescuers from Greece, Russia, the United States and Israel continue to work around the clock but, some 70 hours after the quake struck, hopes of finding more survivors in the freezing Turkish winter are fast running out.
Friday’s quake followed the huge quake which struck the neighboring Izmit province on August 17 and those left homeless from the two quakes could be as high as 700,000.
Survivors are complaining of difficulties in accessing emergency government food supplies and some are re-entering dangerously weakened homes to retrieve supplies.
There are long queues at the official crisis centre for food, heating and clothing and whole families are bedding down in parks under little more than sheets of plastic.
Survivors are angry at being asked to fill out forms for official aid to prove they were in fact victims of the quake.
``They make me nervous,'' said Bahtiyar Bayar, mother of two. ``I don't know how to fill out these forms, what to do, where to go.''
Meanwhile the Turkish press is obsessed with the possibility of yet another big quake striking the country and seismologists seem to agree that the Turkish capital of Istanbul is ‘due’ for a big quake.
Experts say the two quakes to hit the northwest occured on the same faultline and that the remaining, unbroken section of the fault lies in the Sea of Marmara, some 16 miles south of Istanbul
They told reporters over the weekend that the fault could either break up piece by piece over time with relatively small quakes, or be hit by a single tremor similar to the two that have struck neighboring regions.
ends

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