New Earthquake in Turkey Kills 1, Injures 110 

A 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit southeastern Turkey on Monday, killing one person, injuring at least 110, and causing a number of already-damaged buildings to collapse.

The new tremor came three weeks after a 7.8 magnitude shook Turkey and Syria and killed more than 50,000 people.

Turkish authorities said that rescue teams were immediately deployed Monday to rescue people from the rubble. A father and daughter who were trapped beneath the ruins of a four-story building they had entered in the town of Yesilyurt to retrieve their belongings after the earlier quake were saved.

Yesilyurt, in Malatya province, was the center of Monday’s quake.

Yunus Sezer, the head of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), said that search and rescue teams had been deployed at five buildings.

The region has had four earthquakes in the past three weeks, as well as more than 10,000 aftershocks, according to AFAD’s general director of earthquake and risk reduction, Orhan Tatar.

The earthquakes are expected to have an impact on Turkey’s upcoming elections. Current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is running for another term and faces what is expected to be a tough election in June.

Critics accuse the government of being too slow to respond to the initial quake emergency and opposition parties have said Erdogan’s government is responsible for the extent of the disaster, due to its failure to enforce building regulations.

At a news conference Monday, Erdogan acknowledged his government’s response was deemed by many to be insufficient.

“In the first days, we were not able to conduct work as efficiently as we wanted to in [the hard-hit town of] Adiyaman, for reasons such as the destructive impact of the tremors, adverse weather and challenges due to the damaged infrastructure,” Erdogan said.

The president said construction to rebuild damaged 309,000 homes would start soon. He said that in March and April, construction will also start on 234,000 new homes, while infrastructure, medical centers, and parks will also be built.

During the huge Feb. 6 earthquake, 173,000 buildings in Turkey collapsed or were severely damaged, making it the worst disaster in the country’s modern history

After this latest tremor, AFAD issued a warning on Twitter telling people not to enter or stand near damaged buildings in the earthquake zone.

Some information for this report came from Reuters and The Associated Press.


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