updated 11-15-99

3 a.m.


Crews Struggle To Find Turk Victims


.c The Associated Press

DUZCE, Turkey (AP) - (November 15, 1999) After two major earthquakes in the past three months, terrified residents of this northwestern Turkish town are packing up and leaving, unable to face the idea that the ground could once again erupt around them.

Others have stayed close to home since Friday's earthquake, but prefer to live under the soft roof of a tent. So fearful of a third quake are people in the region that many in the nearby town of Akyazi - which didn't suffer major damage in either temblor - are setting up tents following a warning from seismologists that the town could be hit in the future.

Friday's earthquake left 452 dead and 3,000 injured. Rescuers continued to search for survivors.

``There is nothing left here,'' said Ismail Demirtas, a grocer in Duzce whose shop was damaged in the quake. He said he planned to move back to his native village, which is nearby, with his wife and 3-year-old son.

The roads around Duzce were filled Sunday with trucks carrying furniture as families headed out.

In the nearby city of Bolu, Nesri Kaman also said she would like to leave for a place with firmer soil. But as a policewoman there, she felt an obligation to stay.

``People get used to disasters. However bad they feel, they are forced to get used to it,'' she said as her neighbors emptied their homes and loaded trucks with their belongings.

Friday's 7.2-magnitude quake struck an area 45 miles east of the region worst hit by the Aug. 17 quake that left more than 17,000 people dead.

Yunus Aydin and thousands of other Duzce residents moved into emergency tents.

Some of his neighbors who had been sharing the lot with him began moving back into their homes, believing that danger had passed. Aydin refused to budge.

``They slowly started moving back in, but I wouldn't go,'' said Aydin, standing outside his tent as an electrician friend tried to rig a wire to the tent to provide electricity for light and heat.

Last week, authorities had been urging him and many other of this town's survivors from the previous quake to move back into their homes. After Friday's quake destroyed 350 buildings in this town of 80,000, Aydin is even more determined to stay under a soft roof.

``I don't know what I will do, but I will not go back'' to his home, which sustained serious cracks from Friday's quake, he said. ``We know there are other faults that are going to break.''

Nurten Kapoglu arrived in Duzce just before the quake Friday to visit her mother, who had been living in a tent since the August quake. On Sunday, she crowded around a campfire with her mother, brother and neighbors, sharing bread with traditional Turkish white cheese.

After the quake hit Friday, her mother was assigned to live in a prefabricated home, but she refuses to move in.

``She's still under shock. She can't move into a place yet,'' Kapoglu said. ``It's safer here, and all together like this we feel stronger.''

Belgian aid workers were setting up a field hospital in Duzce as rescue teams combed wreckage in Duzce and other nearby towns hoping to find more survivors.

People were bringing medical supplies, tents, blankets and plastic sheets to provide shelter from rain. Turkish authorities said they were still in need of drinking water, beds, flood lights, generators, pain killers for children, X-ray machines and surgery equipment.

While authorities' response to the quake had improved from August, some rescue workers still voiced frustrations.

``Some things are better,'' said German rescuer Britta Edinger, returning to camp after a day of guiding her black German shepherd, Arisha, through collapsed buildings. However, she said, ``we arrived yesterday morning, but did not get maps until today.''

AP-NY-11-15-99 0233EST


Turks Haunted by Quake Nightmares


.c The Associated Press

DUZCE, Turkey (Nov. 14, 99) - Turks were still trying to rebuild their cities from an earlier earthquake, mourn their dead and overcome the fear that their homes could become deathtraps. Then it all happened again.

The earth shook, the buildings collapsed. Now, the Turks are resuming a grim routine - counting the dead and trying to find warm tents for the homeless.

''It's helpless, endless. We've seen this so many times,'' said Necla Suren as she watched Turkish and German rescue teams dig through the debris of a collapsed building where one person was believed to be alive.

It was a scene repeated throughout central Duzce on Sunday, a town of 70,000 people that was at the epicenter of Friday's 7.2-magnitude temblor. More than 374 people were believed dead, and the toll was expected to rise.

Friday's quake worsened the already strong fear gripping Turks since Aug. 17, when a 7.4-magnitude quake devastated a much wider area around northwestern Turkey, leaving more than 17,000 people dead.

''I still hadn't gone back into my home,'' said Suren. ''Now I don't think we'll go back for years.''

Duzce (DOOZ-jeh), was also hit in the August quake, but this time the damage here was far worse. Of the more than 250 people killed in Bolu province, 187 so far were confirmed dead in Duzce.

''It just gets worse and worse. It's the fear of death,'' said Sukriye Ayyildiz as she waited for her daughter, who went to try to get a tent from aid workers.

Ayyildiz moved back to her home 20 days ago after her husband died of injuries suffered in the August quake. On Friday, she was hosting guests. They all ran out when the quake hit and her house took on new damage. Now she's terrified to return home.

Turkey is still struggling to try and find shelter for all of the more than 100,000 people left homeless by the Aug. 17 quake.

Thousands of Duzce residents have been living in tent shelters and prefabricated homes since the earlier quake. Last week, those with little damage to their buildings were told to return home.

On Sunday, authorities were back in Duzce setting up tent cities once again, this time for the thousands of people who, whether because of new damage to their homes or fear of more earthquakes, refused to walk into any building in the town.

Husni Uner leaned on a chair outside a collapsed restaurant in the nearby village of Kaynasli. She waited for the body of her brother to be pulled out of a restaurant half-burned by a fire sparked by Friday's quake.

''My little brother,'' she wailed. ''And it will continue. It will!''

The inhabitants of the town walked through the streets gazing at the cracked or flattened buildings that surrounded them.

This time around, though, the survivors appeared more organized, having learned lessons from the earlier quake in August. Rescue authorities also seemed more prepared.

''After the first quake, no one knew what to do. This time, we knew we had to go to the crisis center and find a tent. But this time, no one has any strength left,'' said Ismail Demirtas, a grocer forced to sell his few remaining goods out of his van since Friday's quake opened cracks in his ground-floor shop.

His van was parked across from his shop on the site where a five-story building had collapsed in August.

''What didn't collapse in August did this time,'' he said.

''Duzce is finished,'' said Demirtas, echoing the words of many others in this shattered town.

AP-NY-11-14-99 1329EST


Crews Struggle To Find Turk Quake Victims

By Ron Kampeas

.c The Associated Press

DUZCE, Turkey (Nov. 14, 99) - Rescue workers from 23 different countries poured into Turkey and joined thousands of soldiers Sunday in a massive effort to save people believed buried beneath the rubble of Friday's earthquake. The trembler killed at least 374 people and injured 3,000 others.

Turks signaled motorists Sunday to shut off their engines in one part of a quake-stricken town so a rescue team could listen for the cries of a child buried beneath slabs of concrete. A block away, the newly homeless lined up for blankets and food.

Emergency crews and volunteer organizations say the organization of the relief efforts stands in contrast to the aftermath of the devastating Aug. 17 tumbler, when relief teams wandered through the quake zone with little idea where their help was needed.

But they add that many basics including food, tools and maps are still in short supply.

''Some things are better,'' said German rescuer Britta Edinger, returning to camp after a day of guiding her black German shepherd sniffer, Arisha, through collapsed buildings.

She said a crisis center was established within hours of the quake to help coordinate efforts, but she quickly added that her team had to wait a day until they received maps of the city.

With temperatures plunging and chances of survival beneath the piles of rubble decreasing with every passing hour, the official death toll was expected to rise in the coming days.

But there was still hope.

In one section of town, Turkish rescuers pulled Saziye Bulut from beneath a collapsed five-story building, where she had been trapped for 41 hours.

The head of the relief team that saved her burst into tears after her rescue.

''This is the happiest day of my life,'' said Turgut Ozdemir. ''I will not forget this moment until the end of my life.''

In another area, rescuers tried to find a child believed buried under the rubble, but they later concluded that the cries were misheard. There was no trapped child.

Delays in identifying crisis areas, however, left some rescue teams pacing the crisis center.

''We came last night and we wanted to help, but there is no organization,'' said Armenian relief worker Sergei Doshoyan. ''We want to help you,'' he repeated to a Turkish journalist - a reminder of the deep tensions that still exist between the neighboring countries.

The efforts came as President Clinton left Washington on Sunday for a state visit in Turkey. He also will participate in a European summit in Istanbul, Turkey's biggest city, then visit Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and Kosovo before returning home Nov. 23.

''This second earthquake was much more severe than we had originally thought,'' Clinton told reporters aboard Air Force One. ''It will be very much on the minds of the Turkish leaders and the Turkish people and we'll try to be sensitive to that.''

Achim Mullar, heading a 29-person German team digging under a collapsed apartment building, commended the Turkish army for its speed in leading his army team to the site - but it took another 12 hours for their equipment to arrive.

''It's not smooth,'' he said as he watched his team monitor knocking sounds deep into the crush of concrete.

Turkish volunteers attributed what improvement there was to a change in attitude by a government that was sharply criticized in the press and on the streets for its slow response to the August quake, which left more than 17,000 people dead.

''At the first earthquake, the attitude was, we are the government, we do the work,'' said Zarif Karac, coordinator of a civil crisis center that had just deployed 500 university students to the quake area.

This time, he said, the conservative establishment swallowed hard and took advice from the largely youthful Turkish volunteers who won praise for their efforts during the first quake.

''It was hard for them to accept our long hair and earrings, but we got the job done,'' Karac said.

There were still some organizational problems, he added.

''We need walkie talkies so we can send the teams out to search for collapsed buildings and contact them in an emergency. Instead, we keep them here,'' he said.

Last time, relief workers came days after the disaster when it became clear that the situation was out of the Turkish government's control.

''We are putting some of those lessons to use,'' said Shawn McPherson, a Fairfax, Va., fireman, who watched his colleagues, in dark blue uniforms, unload 100,000 pounds of equipment from two semitrailers and two bright red firetrucks with Virginia plates.

Another innovation: instead of waiting for Turkish orders, the Fairfax delegation deployed a small team immediately to seek out crises.

The smaller team, carrying bright yellow backpacks filled with a change of clothing, cutting tools and medicines, was already scrabbling through a collapsed building while the rest of their team set up headquarters.

''The Turks have internalized crisis coordination lessons,'' said Tom Dollan, the head of the U.S. aid team.

Anticipating the needs of quake victims, international rescue teams brought food and other supplies as well as rescue equipment.

Alongside piping that would bring air below surfaces, Danish teams unloaded piles of chocolate milk.

The Fairfax, Va., Urban Search and Rescue team added eight disease prevention specialists to its 65-member team.

The 7.2-magnitude quake struck Bolu province, an area just 45 miles east of the region worst hit by the Aug. 17 quake. That quake, which had a magnitude of 7.4, was centered on the more populated coastal areas of western Turkey.

AP-NY-11-14-99 1547EST


At Least 374 Dead in Turkey Quake


.c The Associated Press

KAYNASLI, Turkey (AP) -(November 14, 1999)  With time working against them, rescue workers battled bitter cold Sunday as they searched through concrete slabs and other debris in hopes of finding more survivors from Friday's devastating earthquake.

So far, 374 people are known to have died in the tremor, and another 3,000 are injured.

With the mercury plunging as low as 23 degrees overnight, the cold was also worsening the plight of those who lived through the disaster.

Local television reported that survivors were having difficulty sleeping even with three or four blankets. There were not enough emergency tents to go around, and many people slept outside.

``With the cold people give up more easily. They do not fight to stay alive,'' said French Army Capt. Jean Marc Castagnet, working with his team in the hard-hit town of Kaynasli, where rescuers dug out at least 135 bodies.

Castagnet and his colleagues also came to provide support following the massive earthquake that hit a nearby region of Turkey on Aug. 17, leaving more than 17,000 dead. After that quake, the survivors were struggling with sweltering heat and dehydration.

The latest 7.2-magnitude quake hit this hilly region of northwestern Turkey just after nightfall Friday. The center was in Bolu province, an area just 45 miles east of the more populated coastal region worst hit by the August temblor.

With the chances of survival under piles of rubble decreasing with every passing hour, the official death toll was expected to rise.

Still, Turkish media seized on any signs of hope. The Milliyet newspaper ran a front-page picture of a man who was rescued after midnight along with two of his daughters, having spent over 30 hours under the debris of their home in the town of Duzce.

``At every site possible we are searching and listening. We are talking to people to see if they know the whereabouts of their relatives,'' Israeli Col. Gilad Golan said in Duzce. He was speaking on Israel's army radio network.

The location of the quake zone - directly between Turkey's two major cities, Istanbul and Ankara - allowed many rescue workers to arrive quickly. Roads in the quake zone were crowded with trucks bringing in aid, including tents, blankets, food and water. Ambulances zig-zagged in traffic jams, sirens blaring, as they rushed the injured to hospitals.

A 48-year-old woman, Saziye Bulut, was pulled out alive from the rubble of a five-story apartment building in Duzce on Sunday, 41 hours after the quake, the Anatolia news agency reported. She was reported in stable condition and was the fifth survivor rescued from the same building.

Turkish authorities, who had been criticized for reacting too slowly to the previous quake, were working to respond more promptly this time around. Government ministers went quickly to the quake zone, and the military was also dispatched right away.

While some survivors were critical of the authorities, many Turks appeared more satisfied with the response this time. The Sabah newspaper praised authorities and rescue teams for moving quickly, running a story headlined ``The resurrection of the state.''

Eight aftershocks, the strongest with a magnitude of 3.9, rattled the quake zone overnight.

The Friday quake flattened hundreds of buildings. In Duzce, the farming town at the epicenter of the quake, the temblor tore out the center of a turn-of-the-century mosque, leaving only the walls standing.

``The destruction is severe,'' said Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. ``I hope that the wounds will be healed. ... We are faced with a disaster.''

International rescue teams rushed to Turkey from Greece, the United States, France, Germany, Italy and Algeria.

The quake struck as Turkey prepared to host world leaders for a summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The temblor rocked buildings in Istanbul, 90 miles to the west, where the officials are scheduled to convene, but Ecevit said the summit would not be canceled.

President Clinton was to arrive in Turkey Sunday night. First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea, arrived in Ankara on Saturday.

Friday's quake was a separate tremor, not an aftershock of the August quake, according to experts.

Seismologists warned that more strong quakes could hit the town of Akyazi, west of Bolu. The warning caused panic in Akyazi, where residents began erecting tents and building huts from wood in open areas, news reports said.

The warnings prompted Interior Minister Sadettin Tantan to hold an urgent meeting on Saturday. Authorities decided to move hospitals and schools into new two-story prefabricated houses, tear down poorly constructed buildings and set up a quake-warning system, the daily newspaper Hurriyet reported.

AP-NY-11-14-99 0713EST


Turkish quake rescuers work on through icy night

By Osman Senkul

DUZCE, Turkey, Nov 14, 99 (Reuters) - Bonfires blazed in the icy night of Sunday in northwest Turkey where rescuers wrestled with concrete and steel wire to free those trapped by the country's second devastating earthquake in three months.

Officials put the death toll at 362, but damage on the ground from the 7.2 Richter scale quake that tore through Bolu province on Friday suggested it would rise.

Rescuers extracted Mehmet Aykut and his two small children Ozgur and Ozlem from the rubble of their home in Duzce.

``One of our team reached his arm in. 'Can you see my arm?' he asked. The child said 'Yes I can. I can get out through there','' rescuer Fuat Dalgic told Reuters.

``We got the kids out. They were fine. Then came the father. He was in a worse state.''

Doctors working under canvas in the local hospital garden treated the three for cold and shock. Others were not so lucky.

``I buried four of my relatives in the cemetery on Saturday,'' Cetin Kilic, a car factory worker who had returned from Germany to find his family, told Reuters reporter Daren Butler in the devastated centre of the nearby town of Kaynasli.

``I fear I'll be burying a fifth today,'' he said. As he spoke a lifeless body was carried out from the wreckage.


A thin moon hung over the hilly and forested Bolu province, dotted with fires of burning tyres and broken furniture at which survivors huddled to stay warm in the freezing temperatures.

The sound of generators and pneumatic drills echoed through towns devastated by a tremor that Transport Minister Enis Oksuz said could cost Turkey's fragile economy $10 billion -- on top of an estimated $12 billion from an August 17 quake in the nearby Izmit region.

``We are face-to-face with a great disaster,'' Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said.

Despite the quake, organisers said a summit of 54 leaders, including U.S. President Bill Clinton, scheduled for Istanbul on November 18-19 would go ahead.

Clinton was due in Ankara on Sunday. His wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea arrived on Saturday.

The glacial temperatures worry rescuers in Bolu, an upland area that depends largely on agriculture and light industry based on the nuts and wood harvested from the hillside forests.

``Since the weather is very cold, body resistance goes down and the ability to survive decreases,'' said Dr Ali Sehirlioglu, an Istanbul doctor working in a tented surgery in Duzce.

And cold is not the only danger. Sehirlioglu said his team had treated scores of people for serious burns sustained as fires broke out in heating systems of collapsed buildings.

Reuters reporters in Duzce and surrounding towns such as shattered Kaynasli found scenes of devastation with twisted metal, overturned lorries and smashed buildings.

One entire lane of the main highway linking Ankara and Istanbul collapsed into a ravine.


In a reprise of August's disaster, rescue crews and expressions of sympathy poured in from abroad.

Greece rushed rescuers and aid to Turkey, true to a new spirit of neighbourly help that has emerged between the two NATO allies after centuries of hatred.

Relations between the two countries warmed in August when Greece sent rescue teams to Turkey. When Greece was hit by a tremor in September, Turkey responded in kind in what became known as ``seismic diplomacy.''

Other aid or offers of help came from Israel, Romania, Britain, France and Germany among others.

In Dublin, Ireland and Turkey internationals wearing black arm-bands stood for a minute's silence before the kick-off of their European soccer Championship play-off.

Turkey's armed forces and government, criticised for a slow response to the August disaster, made some amends with their critics by a fast response.

The Radikal newspaper, harshly critical of what it said was the government's sluggish response to the August disaster, praised authorities for a prompt response to Friday's quake.

18:47 11-13-99


Two Women Wanted To Escape Turkey


.c The Associated Press

DUZCE, Turkey (Nov. 13, 99) - The two women in this dusty farm town were fiercely determined to move their families out of harm's way after a massive August earthquake left cracks in their walls and frequent aftershocks rocked their homes.

When the earth erupted again Friday night, Turkan Buyuk clawed her way to safety from under her collapsed building.

Zubeyde Tokalic never made it.

Buyuk and Tokalic both grew up in the town of Duzce, a town 115 miles east of Istanbul centered in a region that grows hazelnuts, corn, fruit and tobacco.

They were both in their 40s and had adult daughters living at home. There is no sign that they knew each other, but they may well have rubbed shoulders in the same markets.

After a massive earthquake Aug. 17 killed more than 17,000 people nearby and opened cracks in the walls of their homes, both women became anxious to get their families to safety.

Buyuk refused to believe municipal inspectors who said her five-story building was safe after the earthquake. They refused to relocate her to another home under a state program.

''We had to move,'' she said. Buyuk spent four months searching Duzce for an apartment in a secure building. Just last week, she signed a lease and collected cardboard boxes to pack their belongings.

That's what she was doing with her daughter and mother-in-law when the 7.2 magnitude quake hit Friday.

''I threw myself over them, to protect them,'' she said. Then, their building collapsed, and their fourth-story apartment ended up in a heap just above ground level.

''This time, I thought the end was near,'' Buyuk said, wincing as a medic applied disinfectant to her scalp. Buyuk was being treated for head and arm wounds in the chilly courtyard of Duzce's hospital, where doctors brought patients to escape the damage inside.

At least 362 people were killed in the quake and hundreds of people are still missing.

The fall knocked her unconscious, but she's not sure for how long. When she awoke to the sound of her husband calling her name, she was surrounded by furniture and household debris. Her daughter and mother-in-law were nearby.

Buyuk spied an opening large enough for one person to squeeze through, and she instructed her daughter Sema to go first. Her mother-in-law was next, and finally Buyuk came out.

Minutes later, she said, another aftershock rolled through Duzce and the building completely collapsed.

Tokalic had moved herself and her family out of her three-story building in the center of Duzce immediately after the August quake and had been living in a tent complex erected by rescue workers.

They had been living there until last week, when local authorities insisted they return to their apartment building in Duzce, which they had deemed to be safe.

As soon as the Friday night quake subsided, Tokalic's brother Muharrem got in his car and drove 30 miles east to Duzce from his town of Adapazari.

Muharrem's worst fears for his sister were realized when he arrived. Her building was a tangled heap of concrete, steel and shards of furniture.

''I cried, I tried to help,'' he said the next morning, speaking in soft tones. ''We used hammers, anything.''

It was hours before professional rescue teams relieved them.

''Blame corrupt politicians!'' interjected his brother Enver, who lost his wife, Sabriye, in Friday's quake.

President Suleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit visited Duzce. Authorities have faced criticisms for the last quake for failing to organize aid in the aftermath.

Muharrem Tokalic shrugged. ''When the bodies of my sister and sister-in-law come out I will put them in my car and drive them there,'' he pointed toward the municipal cemetery.

Zubeyde's daughter, Arzu, emerged alive but injured and was taken by ambulance to Duzce's hospital. A clerk working in the courtyard there said the daughter had probably been transferred elsewhere since their facility was full.

Across the yard, Buyuk was thanking God.

''I am very, very happy my family is alive,'' she said.

AP-NY-11-13-99 1435EST


At Least 362 Dead in Turkey Quake


.c The Associated Press

KAYNASLI, Turkey (AP) -(November 13, 1999)  Earthmovers pushed huge blocks of cement from the remains of an apartment building Saturday as Turks frantically searched for survivors of a new earthquake that left at least 362 dead and 1,800 injured.

A pregnant woman and two men were pulled from the rubble. With hundreds of people still unaccounted for there were fears that the death toll could rise sharply.

The magnitude-7.2 temblor flattened hundreds of buildings and reduced cars to twisted piles of wreckage. In Duzce, a farming town at the epicenter, the quake tore out the center of a turn-of-the-century mosque, leaving only the walls standing.

Turkey's government, which was severely criticized for its slow response to the Aug. 17 quake that left more than 17,000 people dead, emphasized that it was rushing aid to the recently stricken area.

``There is a minister in each town that has been hit, a rescue team on each site,'' said President Suleyman Demirel, who visited the area Saturday. ``The army is working hard. All organizations are taking part in the help.''

Soldiers arrived with painkillers and other medical supplies. Rescue teams used earthmovers and jackhammers to break apart the tangled wreckage of what were once homes.

``The destruction is severe,'' said Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. ``I hope that the wounds will be healed. ... We are faced with a disaster.''

The quake struck as Turkey prepared to host world leaders for a summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. President Clinton was expected to arrive in Turkey on Sunday night.

The temblor rocked buildings in Istanbul, 90 miles to the west, where the world leaders are scheduled to convene. but Ecevit said the summit would not be canceled. ``There was no such request from our guests,'' he said.

A government crisis center put the death toll at 362, the Anatolia news agency reported. Health Ministry Undersecretary Haluk Tokucoglu, speaking on state-run television, said nearly 1,800 people were injured.

International rescue teams rushed to Turkey from Greece, the United States, France, Germany and Italy. A U.S. team from Fairfax, Va., was expected to arrive before dawn Sunday.

Zekeriya Percin silently watched as rescuers tried to reach the charred bodies of his 73-year-old father Celal and 19 other men.

``An aftershock knocked over the stove and a fire engulfed the whole coffee house,'' he said.

Kaynasli, a wheat-growing town of 7,000 people, was one of the hardest hit towns in the region.

Fatma Demirci said four of her relatives were killed when her house collapsed during the earthquake.

``Kaynasli was set back 100 years,'' she said gazing at collapsed buildings and a shattered mosque.

The quake struck Bolu province, an area just 45 miles east of the region worst hit by the Aug. 17 quake. That quake, which had a magnitude of 7.4, was centered on the more populated coastal areas of western Turkey and not mountainous areas like Bolu.

But the area hit Friday was already struggling to recover from the earlier quake. Tens of thousands of people who lost their homes still live in tents.

In Kaynasli, people huddled around a bonfire as they prepared to spend another night outside in the cold. Some of the people had lost their homes, others were simply too scared to go back inside of buildings that shook and wobbled in the quake.

Seismologists warned Saturday that the country could be hit by more temblors, possibly closer to Istanbul, a city of 12 million people.

Friday's quake was not an aftershock to the Aug. 17 quake in western Turkey, but the fault that ruptured near Duzce is part of the Turkey's intricate fault grid, according to quake experts.

Turkey, Greece and the rest of the eastern Mediterranean are the meeting point for the Eurasian, African and Arabian plates.

Greek seismologists noted that earthquake points had moved farther away from Greece, but they also warned that powerful earthquakes - unlike milder ones - may possibly precipitate temblors in nearby quake zones. They called for heightened vigilance.

AP-NY-11-13-99 1435EST


320 Dead, Thousands Injured in Turkey Earthquake


.c The Associated Press

DUZCE, Turkey (Nov. 13, 99) - After working through the night with floodlights, rescue teams searched in the rubble in northwestern Turkey today for survivors of a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the region the night before.

At least 320 people were killed, a government official said.

The first rays of sunlight eased the rescuers' work but also laid bare the extent of the damage caused by the quake, which struck just after nightfall Friday and was centered in Duzce, near the area wrecked by a major temblor in August.

Houses were reduced to tangled wreckage, large buildings tilted ominously and a section of highway was shorn off a hillside. Firefighters put out blazes, troops unloaded medical supplies and workers used jackhammers to strip away rubble in search of survivors.

The death toll was expected to continue rising. Health Ministry Undersecretary Haluk Tokucoglu, speaking on state-run television, put the toll at 320, with nearly 1,800 injured. Another official said at least 300 buildings were destroyed.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, speaking on national television from Ankara, promised a full response from the government and military.

''The state is there with all its means,'' he said.

Several people were rescued alive, including a little girl pulled from the rubble after being trapped under a building for 12 hours. Rescuers also extracted two men from a collapsed restaurant.

The quake could be felt in Istanbul, 90 miles to the west, where world leaders are scheduled to convene next week for a regional security summit. Officials said there were no plans to change the meetings.

In the town of Duzce, hundreds of people huddled around fires of wood and old tires in a park as temperatures fell to 37 degrees. A thick layer of smoke from fires hung over the city. The government cut electricity to all buildings except hospitals, to reduce the risk of sparks that could ignite more blazes.

The quake was the latest shock to the people of Bolu province, about 45 miles east of the region hardest hit by the massive Aug. 17 temblor that killed more than 17,000 people. More than 100,000 people still live in tents there.

In Duzce (pronounced ''dooz-jeh''), military helicopters flew in to transfer badly wounded patients to hospitals in the Turkish capital of Ankara. International rescue teams rushed to Turkey from Greece, the United States, France, Germany and Italy.

Duzce's hospital was evacuated after the quake, forcing doctors to set up small surgery units in the garden. Patients sat shivering and wrapped in the blankets, and people asked whether their relatives had been brought in.

At the hospital, Ali Ates' eyes filled with tears as he asked a police officer if his son's name appeared on the list of deceased. Told it did not, he said: ''We have been looking for him everywhere since the quake.''

The quake struck around dinner time. Hatice Gusdil said her husband, Hakki, and their 14-year-old son, Cumhur, were killed when their single-story house collapsed.

''We were having dinner and before we knew what was happening the ceiling fell on us,'' Gusdil said as she lay on a stretcher and wept. ''I fainted and only came to when they pulled me out.''

Hikmet Dorsun was crossing a highway to attend a friend's funeral when the earth began to shake and his apartment building collapsed.

''I turned around and all I saw was dust and my daughter running out'' of his apartment, he said.

Elsewhere, a bus carrying 30 people was crushed when a building collapsed onto it. Rescue workers were able to pull 10 people out, and were working to save the other 20.

Just one day before Friday's quake, a smaller earthquake of magnitude 5.7 shook the nearby town of Adapazari. That quake knocked out phone and power lines but did not cause damage to buildings. Two people were killed - one by a heart attack and one from jumping out of a window in panic - and another 171 were injured.

The quakes struck just days before the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's annual meeting in Istanbul scheduled for Nov. 18-19. In advance of the meeting, President Clinton was expected to arrive in Turkey Sunday to visit the city of Izmit, which was severely damaged by the August quake.

AP-NY-11-13-99 0701EST


From: "Slipsten" <slipsten@xxx>

It seem there is tonight (european time) a new killing earthquake of 7.2 in north western Turkey, 34 people found killed, 500 wounded. I see on the turkish satelite channels broadcasting in Europe that the people of the city of Izmit has taken to the streets for the night. Several cities have felt the quake, this time also Ankara. Slipsten.


17 Dead, Hundreds Hurt in Turkey Quake


.c The Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey (Nov. 12, 99) - A strong earthquake rocked western Turkey today, collapsing buildings, setting off fires and killing at least 17 people, officials said. Hundreds were reported injured.

The magnitude-7.2 quake was centered on the town of Duzce, some 115 miles east of Istanbul, said Ahmet Mete Isikara, head of Istanbul's Kandilli Observatory.

The temblor struck the region that was hit by the magnitude-7.4 quake of Aug. 17, although not one of the areas that was devastated. The earlier quake killed at least 17,000 people.

''We are face-to-face with a new disaster,'' said President Suleyman Demirel. ''We understand that some of our people have lost their lives, and that others were injured... . I hope that our losses will not be great.''

Seventeen people were killed in today's quake, the Anatolia news agency quoted Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit as saying.

''There is tremendous destruction,'' Ecevit said. ''It is thought that there are people alive under the rubble.''

Turkish television showed images of people tearing away at mounds of rubble as they frantically searched for relatives in collapsed buildings.

Private NTV television quoted doctors as saying at least 1,000 people were injured.

In Duzce, 500 people were rushed to the hospital, where doctors worked in the garden after the building was evacuated because of quake damage.

Sadettin Cakmakoglu, a doctor, said the hospital was in urgent need of pain killers and medicine.

''I am calling out SOS for Duzce,'' Anatolia quoted him as saying.

In nearby Bolu, the quake set off explosions in buildings, which triggered fires, the town's police chief, Ugur Gur, said.

He said the road to Istanbul was torn apart and called for urgent medical aid from the capital, Ankara, some 160 miles to the east.

Buildings in Istanbul and Ankara shook as though they were made of rubber.

In Adapazari, which was virtually leveled by the Aug. 17 earthquake, terrified residents leaped from their shaking buildings, said Cahit Kirac, the town governor. Adapazari is 40 miles from Duzce.

The quake, which struck at 6:57 p.m., was followed by at least five aftershocks with magnitudes greater than 5, Isikara said.

It was the second quake in as many days.

On Thursday, a magnitude-5.7 aftershock killed one person and injured 171, with most of the casualties in Adapazari. That aftershock was centered in the area of western Turkey that is still recovering from the Aug. 17 earthquake.

Turkey is preparing to play host to delegations from 54 countries for a Nov. 18-19 summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. President Clinton is expected to arrive in Turkey on Sunday.

AP-NY-11-12-99 1630EST