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More Than 200 Dead In Turkish Quake


An aerial view of the quake-hit town of Tabanli in the province of Van in eastern Turkey.
The death toll from an earthquake in eastern Turkey has risen to above 200.
Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahim said 117 people were confirmed dead in the town of Ercis, and 100 in Van city, the provincial capital with a population of 1 million.
He said at least 1,090 people were wounded in the 7.2 magnitude quake, which left many buildings cracked or collapsed.
His comments came as rescue crews worked through the night looking for survivors beneath the rubble.
Several aftershocks have rocked the area.
Turkish media said phone lines and electricity had been cut.
Offers of help have come from NATO, China, Japan, the United States, Azerbaijan, and European countries.
"Turkey will ask for help from [other] countries if necessary," Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said today at a news conference in Van. "Teams from just Azerbaijan, Iran, and Bulgaria are working in the area right now."
Turkey is situated along several fault lines, making it prone to earthquakes.
In 1999, two strong quakes in northwest Turkey left some 20,000 dead.
In 1976, a powerful earthquake in the town of Caldiran in Van province killed more than 5,000.

compiled from agency reports