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Earthquake in Turkey; Italy Floods

  • October 28th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

turkey-earthquake-2011.jpgAt week’s end the drive continues to provide relief for thousands in the bitter cold, after the earthquake on Sunday in Eastern Turkey.

Savage flash flooding in regions throughout Italy has taken at least nine lives.


In Turkey, the official death toll exceeded 520 on Thursday with well over 1000 hurt, from the impact of the earthquake, at 7.2 on the Richter scale, centred around the towns of Ercis and Van.

Relief workers reported several successes getting people out of the rubble from more than 2600 collapsed buildings, but they are under pressure to get in thousands of tents needed for shelter – by people made homeless, or afraid to go home in case of further tremors.

Turkey has been through six earthquakes this Century, though none were so devastating as the one that struck in August 1999, at 7.6, with conservative estimates of over 17000 people dead.

A second, that November, 7.2 in intensity, took another 900 lives.

turkey-earthquakes.jpgSee earthquakes in Turkey, map (Wikipedia).

Very memorably, from the region, the Spitak earthquake in Armenia, at the end of 1988, brought down buildings, and contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union three years later.

The Soviet President, Mikhail Gorbachev, publicly admitted that incompetence or worse had led to large-scale construction  of unsafe structures, and faced with ignominy in the streets, during a visit to the devastated towns, he broke with precedent and called in outside help – forthcoming at the time from some 60 countries.


Torrential rain at the end of Spring has brought tragedy to Italy, with the worst of the flash flooding in the North-west, in Tuscany and along the Riviera in Liguria.

Together with the nine people killed six more were missing on Thursday.


Kevin Dolak and Leezel Tanglao, “Turkey Earthquake: Two-Week-Old Baby Rescued”, ABC News (USA), 25.10.11., (27.10.11).

Reuters, London, “Turk quake survivors plead for tents as cold descends”, 27.10.11., (27.10.11).

Pictures  wikipedia