Turkish quake kills at least 10, topples hotels
Van (Turkey), Nov 10: A Japanese aid worker was among 10 people killed by a second earthquake in eastern Turkey, and angry residents protested today that authorities should have closed down two collapsed hotels that were damaged by the first temblor.
Riot police used pepper spray to halt the protests. The demonstration erupted as rescue workers with pickaxes and earth-movers searched for survivors of yesterday night's quake, which hit the same region slammed by an Oct. 23 temblor that left 600 people dead in the eastern province of Van.
Some 28 people were pulled out of the rubble in the provincial capital, also called Van, as frantic rescue efforts began yesterday evening and lasted through the night under high-powered lights. All 10 fatalities occurred in the two collapsed hotels.
Some of those buried were Turkish journalists covering the aftermath of the first earthquake, which left thousands homeless as cold weather began to close in on the mountainous region.
All 10 fatalities Van's most prominent hotel, the five-story Bayram Hotel, survived the Oct. 23 magnitude-7.2 quake with some cracks and a damaged elevator. But it toppled in the new, magnitude-5.7 quake, trapping an undetermined number of people under tons of concrete and twisted metal.
The Aslan Hotel, a budget operation in Van, also collapsed.
"How is it that these two buildings were not sealed off and were allowed to continue operating?" asked Osman Baydemir, a mayor for the southeastern city of Diyarbakir and a member of a pro-Kurdish opposition party. "The government must bring those responsible to account."
Residents accused local authorities of not properly inspecting damaged buildings and called for the resignation of Gov. Munir Karaloglu, who arrived to tour the damage. Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay tried to talk to the protesters, but he angrily walked away as they booed the officials.
Riot police then charged the crowd with batons, and some people fell in the melee. Police used pepper spray to disperse the protesters, but the gas also affected nearby rescue and health workers, the Hurriyet newspaper said on its website. AP
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 11 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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Van (Turkey), Nov 10: A Japanese aid worker was among 10 people killed by a second earthquake in eastern Turkey, and angry residents protested today that authorities should have closed down two collapsed More