ANKARA, Turkey – Two powerful earthquakes that struck eastern Turkey have left a city of half a million a virtual ghost town, and survivors need relief aid desperately, a local official said Monday.
A magnitude-7.2 quake last month and a magnitude-5.7 quake last week flattened some 2,000 buildings, killed 644 people and left thousands homeless in the eastern Turkish province of Van, where an unusually cold November is forcing survivors to endure even more suffering.
Very few state-owned buildings in the provincial capital, also called Van, survived the quake, provincial Gov. Munir Karaloglu told the state-run Anatolia news agency. Many residents have fled because they fear going back into their homes even if they are not damaged.
Karaloglu called on the country to show “even more mercy” in the face of mounting needs.
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