In a once picture perfect tourism setting in Izmir, Turkey more than 2,000 people will spend another night in tents. Many fear to go back inside their homes as aftershocks continue, with more than 900 recorded in the last two days. Schools in the city will also be closed next week. The region was struck with a devastating 7.0 earthquake early Friday morning. The quake killed at least 64 people and injured more than 900.
In Izmir, Turkey rescuers are racing against time to reach survivors trapped under rubble on eight different apartment blocks. Dozens of people are still unaccounted for, local agencies say, and families gathered around the crashed buildings on Sunday, hoping to find their loved ones.
Forty-one buildings were listed as heavily damaged. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to “heal the wounds” before winter arrives.
The epicenter of the earthquake was located in the Aegean Sea, roughly 10 miles off the coast of Turkey. The most severe damage occurred in Izmir, but two teenagers on Greece’s Samos Island were also killed.
A small tsunami flooded the streets of the town of Seferihisar on the Turkish coast, killing a woman in a wheelchair, local media reported.
Health minister Fahrettin Koca said he understands the difficulty of practicing social distancing in crowded tents or other temporary relief centers, but still warned against the coronavirus threat.