Eighteen people were killed and 27 injured when an earthquake hit remote villages in the eastern Turkish province of Agri yesterday, devastating the local stone and earth houses.
Soldiers worked with residents to rescue people trapped in the rubble and set up tents and mobile kitchens for those made homeless, Anatolian news agency said. Istanbul's Kandilli Observatory said the quake measured 5.1 on the Richter scale.
An official at the local governor's office said the village of Yigincal, with about 100 houses, suffered severe damage in the quake, which struck three villages in Dogubayazit district near the Iranian border.
Residents wailed as bodies were pulled from the rubble in Yigincal, where all the 18 dead were found, Anatolian said. It said there had already been several aftershocks.
"Work is continuing on clearing away the rubble. There is also damage in other villages, but there are only slight injuries there," the official said.
The first television pictures from the scene showed emergency workers carrying the injured into an ambulance while locals looked on amid devastated one-storey houses.
The remote Dogubayazit area is a destination for adventurous travellers who come to visit Mount Ararat and palace ruins on a hill near the main district town.
The Red Crescent said it had sent 500 tents and 500 blankets to the area along with two mobile kitchens, Anatolian reported.
Agri Governor Huseyin Yavuzdemir said that he did not think the death toll would rise, because it was summer. Many northeasterners move to homes in the mountains in summer months to escape the heat.
"The search and rescue is finished ... There is no one in the rubble. These are not buildings that can withstand earthquakes, they are made of earth and stone. Some of the houses are made of concrete and those are fine," Yavuzdemir said.
The weather in the area was mild and locals spent the night outside, he said.
Earthquakes are common in Turkey, which is criss-crossed by geological fault lines. Nine people were killed and dozens injured when a quake of the same magnitude hit Erzurum province in eastern Turkey in March.
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around
‘WOULD NOT COMPLY’: The company’s user data are kept in Singapore and it would not turn the data over to Beijing even if asked, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said Social media app TikTok has distanced itself from Beijing after India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, according to a correspondence seen by Reuters. In a letter to the Indian government dated on Sunday last week and seen by Reuters on Friday, TikTok chief executive Kevin Mayer said the Chinese government has never requested user data, nor would the company turn it over if asked. TikTok, which is not available in China, is owned by China’s ByteDance, but has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience. Along with 58 other Chinese apps, including Tencent
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
CHANGING PERCEPTIONS: In its tender, the Hong Kong administration said that it had failed to ‘mobilise the community to support law enforcement actions’ The Hong Kong government has agreed to pay millions of pounds to a discreet London-based PR firm to counter coverage of the territory in the international media. Consulum, which has also represented Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was on Monday awarded the ￡5 million (US$6.2 million) one-year contract to improve Hong Kong’s reputation — the same day that China passed national security legislation targeting the territory. The Mayfair-based PR business was founded by Tim Ryan and Matthew Gunther Bushell, two former employees of Bell Pottinger, an agency that has been criticized for representing some governments and leaders that other businesses