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Sunday, June 28, 1998 Published at 00:37 GMT 01:37 UK


World: Europe

At least 100 killed in Turkey quake



At least 100 people have died in and near the city of Adana near the Mediterranean coast in south-eastern Turkey, in a strong earthquake.


Scenes of devastation
Many buildings in the city and in nearby towns have collapsed and local hospitals are reported to be full.

Local television stations have shown pictures of people trying to dig through the rubble with their bare hands.


[ image: Many buildings have collapsed]
Many buildings have collapsed
Officials at the Kandilli seismological institute in Istanbul say the quake, which struck just before 1700 local time, measured 6.3 on the Richter scale.

Witnesses said thousands of residents of Adana fled into the streets in panic after the quake, apparently making it difficult for the emergency services to reach the injured.

Power has been cut off in the city because a number of fires started, and communication lines to the region are down.


BBC Ankara correspondent Chris Morris: Adana thrown into chaos
Most of the damage in Adana has been done in slum areas, where houses are often built very quickly and cheaply. The centre of the city has hardly been affected.

The Turkish news agency Anatolia said about 20 people had died in the neighbouring town of Ceyhan, where there is an oil terminal.

Just outside Adana is the Nato airbase at Incirlik, where British and American forces are based.

First reports say there has been no serious damage there but it has been hard to contact the base.

Quake felt throughout region

Tremors were felt across a wide area and were felt as far afield as Israel and the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

The region is still bracing itself for aftershocks, and local officials are warning that buildings which have been weakened by the first tremors may be in danger of collapse.

The government has set up a crisis centre at the Prime Minister's office to coordinate relief efforts, and President Demirel is due to visit the area on Sunday.

Small earthquakes and tremors are common in Turkey. An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale shook eastern Turkey in April, injuring more than a dozen people.

And in 1996 an earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale killed 89 people in the western town of Dinar.



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