ERCIS, Turkey - (AP) - Distraught Turkish families mourned outsidea mosque or sought to identify loved ones among rows of bodiesMonday as rescue workers scoured debris for survivors after a7.2-magnitude quake that killed at least 279 people.
Rescue teams with generator-powered floodlights worked into thenight in the worst-hit city of Ercis, where running water andelectricity were cut by the quake that rocked eastern Turkey onSunday. Unnerved by over 200 aftershocks, many residents sleptoutside their homes, making campfires to ward off the cold, as aidorganizations rushed to erect tents for the homeless.
Victims were trapped in mounds of concrete, twisted steel andconstruction debris after over a hundred buildings in two citiesand mud-brick homes in nearby villages pancaked or partiallycollapsed in Sunday's earthquake. About 80 multistory buildingscollapsed in Ercis, a city of 75,000 close to the Iranian borderthat lies in one of Turkey's most earthquake-prone zones.
Cranes and other heavy equipment lifted slabs of concrete,allowing residents to dig for the missing with shovels.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said the quake killed 279people and injured 1,300, though search-and-rescue efforts couldend as early as Tuesday. Authorities said 10 of the dead werestudents learning about the Quran at a religious school thatcollapsed.
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