Turkey Earthquake Update: Three More Survivors Found; Construction Behind Deaths?

Yesterday in Ercis, Turkey, a college student and two teachers were found amid the wreckage caused by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the region Sunday.

The first of the group to be rescued, 18-year old student Eyup Erdem, may not have been discovered without a creative solution on the part of rescue workers. Earlier in the day, rescuers used tiny cameras attached to thin poles to find him.

According to NTV television network, Seniye Erdem, a 25-year-old schoolteacher, was the next one rescued.

Erdem was dehydrated after the ordeal and immediately asked for water. She also asked about her husband, whose body was later discovered in the rubble.

The next survivor, a 27-year old English teacher named Gozde Bahar, nearly died. Bahar was saved from a collapsed structure yesterday, only to have her heart stop at a nearby hospital, according to the state-sponsored Anatolia newsroom. Doctors revived her, fortunately.

Ercis lost over 461 lives and 1,350 were injured in the catastrophic events.

Construction equipment was immediately brought in to move heavy pieces of wreckage so emergency personnel could search for survivors.

Rescuer Riza Birkan told CBS News, “At the moment we don’t have any other signs of life. We are concentrating on recovering bodies.”

Ercis may have been the hardest hit in the eastern region of Turkey, but it certainly wasn’t the only city affected. The colossal quake killed over 400 and left thousands destitute when it collided with Van, Turkey, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) away.

According to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the lives claimed by the earthquake could be the fault of a lack of compliance to construction standards. The prime minister had evaluated contractors’ work as far as some collapsed buildings to be negligent, and compared that negligence to murder.

Erdogan asserted, “Despite all previous disasters, we see that the appeals were not heeded,” says CBS News.

The “previous disasters” the prime minister references are most recently the 5.8 and 6.1 magnitude earthquakes that hit Turkey in April and March of this year, respectively.

The most infamous quake to hit Turkey in modern times was in August of 1999, where at least 17,000 died and 43,000 were injured.

Turkey’s susceptibility to earthquakes comes from its two major strike-slip zones, the North Anatolian Fault and the East Anatolian Fault.

Since the quake Sunday, over 500 aftershocks have rocked the area, causing the newly homeless to panic.

Turkey has said that it will accept supplies including tents and prefabricated housing from other countries, as supplies are desperately low.