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Turkey earthquake: 186 rescued; 534 killed

October 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Emergency officials in eastern Turkey said Thursday that 186 people have been rescued since the powerful earthquake struck.

The death toll now stands at 534 people killed, while thousands remain homeless as rain and snow brought on more hardship. Turkey's weather agency predicted intermittent snowfall for the next three days.

About 2,000 buildings have been destroyed and authorities declared another 3,700 buildings unfit for habitation.

As more aid began to reach survivors, Turkish authorities were able to deliver more tents to those outside.

Sermin Yildirim, eight months pregnant, was sharing a tent with a family of four who were distant relatives, along with her own twins and husband. Her family was too afraid of returning to their apartment.

"It's getting colder, my kids are coughing. I don't know how long we will have to stay here," Yildirim said. "We were not able to get a tent. We are waiting to get our own."

Search and rescue operations ended in the provincial capital of Van, state-run TRT television said, but the search continued in Ercis.

They pulled out the bodies of two dead teenage sisters and their parents who were holding hands, and a mother clutching her baby boy, according to media reports.

See photos of damage after a powerful earthquake struck Turkey.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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