JULY 1, 2004

2nd Quake 7-4-04

July 2, 2004 1:45 PM
Earthquake in Turkey kills 18
By Ferit Demir

TUNCELI, Turkey (Reuters) - Eighteen people have been killed and 27 injured after an earthquake hit remote villages in the eastern
Turkish province of Agri, devastating the local stone and earth houses.

Soldiers worked with residents to rescue people trapped in the rubble and set up tents and mobile kitchens for those made
homeless, Anatolian news agency said. Istanbul's Kandilli Observatory said the quake measured 5.1 on the Richter scale.

An official at the local governor's office said the village of Yigincal, with about 100 houses, suffered severe damage in the quake,
which struck three villages in Dogubayazit district near the Iranian border at 1:30 a.m. on Friday.

Headscarved women villagers wailed as bodies were pulled from the rubble in Yigincal, where all the 18 dead were found. A series
of aftershocks shook the region.

Energy Minister Hilmi Guler flew to the area by helicopter and joined locals in a funeral ceremony for 15 of those killed in Yigincal. He
pledge to help those affected by the quake.

The prime minister and president sent condolence messages to the governor.

"Work is continuing on clearing away the rubble. There is also damage in other villages, but there are only slight injuries there," the
official in the governor's office said.

Television pictures from the scene showed emergency workers carrying the injured into an ambulance while locals looked on amid
devastated one-storey houses.

The remote Dogubayazit area is a destination for adventurous travellers who come to visit Mount Ararat and palace ruins on a hill
near the main district town.

The Red Crescent aid organisation said it had sent 500 tents and 500 blankets to the area along with two mobile kitchens, Anatolian
reported. A 26-strong search-and-rescue team was also sent to the area with a sniffer dog.

Agri Governor Huseyin Yavuzdemir told CNN Turk television he did not think the death toll would rise, because it was summer. Many
northeasterners move to homes in the mountains in summer months to escape the heat.

"The search and rescue is finished... There is no one in the rubble. These are not buildings that can withstand earthquakes, they are
made of earth and stone. Some of the houses are made of concrete and those are fine," Yavuzdemir said.

The weather in the area was mild and locals spent the night outside, he said.

Earthquakes are common in Turkey, which is criss-crossed by geological fault lines.

18 Dead In Turkey Earthquake
posted by Intellpuke on Thursday July 01, @10:36PM
from the Geophysical-Sciences dept.
 Intellpuke writes "Friday, July 2, 2004

A moderate earthquake has hit villages in northeastern Turkey, reportedly killing at least 18 people and injuring 50, 20 of them seriously.

The quake struck about 1:30 a.m. Friday (6:30 p.m. ET) and was centered near the town of Dogu Beyazit, local officials said. The cities of Agri and Igdir were also affected by the earthquake, with the village of Yigimcal hardest hit.

Local officials say they do not expect the death toll to rise because many people were away at their summer homes, but aid operations are underway and tents are being set up.

Turkey is the frequent victim of quakes. In March, nine people were killed when an earthquake struck northeastern Turkey, CNN reports.

The U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Hazards Program website provided the following on the quake in Turkey:

Magnitude 5.3 Date-Time Thursday, July 1, 2004 at 22:30:12 (UTC) = Coordinated Universal Time Friday, July 2, 2004 at 1:30:12 AM = local time at epicenter Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones Location 39.827N, 43.819E Depth 19.2 km (11.9 miles) (poorly constrained) Region EASTERN TURKEY Distances 65 km (40 miles) E of Karakose (Agri), Turkey 70 km (45 miles) WSW of YEREVAN, Armenia 105 km (65 miles) SE of Kars, Turkey 945 km (580 miles) E of ANKARA, Turkey Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 8.9 km (5.5 miles); depth +/- 23 km (14.3 miles) Parameters Nst= 84, Nph= 84, Dmin=468.3 km, Rmss=0.89 sec, Gp=101, M-type=body magnitude (Mb), Version=6 Source USGS NEIC (WDCS-D) Event ID uskjdq Felt Reports At least 18 people killed and 21 injured in the Dogubeyazit area.

18 Turks Killed In Earthquake, 6 In Car Bomb

ANKARA, July 2 ( & News Agencies) At least 18 Kurds died Friday, June 2, when a tremor hit a rural area near the Iranian border, while six others were killed in a car bombing in the eastern city of Van.

The quake, which registered 5.1 on the Richter scale according to the French Earth Science observatory in Strasbourg , hit at 1:30 am (2230 GMT) near the town of Dogubeyazit , reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The small village of Yigincali was the worst hit with 18 killed there, provincial governor Huseyin Yavuzdemir told the NTV television channel.

Rescue work in the houses -- which were all made of mud -- has been completed and the toll should not climb any higher, he added.

"These houses cannot withstand an earthquake," Yavuzdemir said.

According to the Anatolia news agency all 67 houses in the village, located some 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Iranian border, were damaged by the quake.

The majority of the some 700 inhabitants had left the village to take their animals to summer pastures, the governor said.

Otherwise the toll would have been much higher, he added.

The army sent rescue teams to the region, and Red Crescent workers were also dispatched. Some 40 tents have been set up to accommodate survivors.

Turkey is crossed by several major fault lines, and earthquakes are a frequent occurrence.

The worst in recent years was in August and September 1999, when two quakes, one measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale struck northwestern Turkey and southeastern Greece, killing more than 20,000 people.

The worst tremor in modern times was in December 1939, when a 7.9 quake struck eastern Turkey , leaving some 45,000 people dead.

Car Bombing

Meanwhile, a car bomb ripped through a street in Van in an apparent attack on the local governor, Hikmet Tan.

The death toll rose to six dead and 23 injured, a spokesperson for the governor's office told AFP.

The earlier toll had stood at five killed and 24 injured.

Tan, who escaped injured, told reporters his car was badly damaged in the blast in the city of Van , some 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of the Iranian border.

He recalled that his police escort managed to speed away from the downtown area where the attack occurred.

"According to the information we have, the bomb which exploded in a car soon after the governor's car passed by was remote-controlled," Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu told Anatolia news agency.

"As a result of this explosion, the car which contained the bomb was torn apart, two cars nearby were damaged and there is also damage to the windows and body of the governor's car," he said.

"This attack is aimed at disturbing the atmosphere of peace, order and security in our country. But everyone should stay assured that the atmosphere of peace will continue," he added.

Kurds Fingered

"Our impression is that the attack was carried out by the PKK", the Kurdish rebels of the former Kurdistan People's Party (PKK), renamed Kongra-Gel, police spokesman Ramazan Er told a press conference in Ankara.

A year ago, Kurdish rebels attempted to ambush another Turkish governor, on a mountain road in Tunceli province.

Two soldiers in the leading escort vehicle were killed in the exchange of gunfire.

However, Four Kurdish rights activists and former members of parliament, recently released from prison, condemned the Friday's attack in a statement sent to AFP.

"We condemn the attack... and extend our condolences to the victims," said the statement issued by Leyna Zana and three other former MPs released last month after 10 years in jail for alleged links with the PKK, pending an appeal of their case.

The PKK led a 15-year armed campaign for self-rule in Turkey 's southeast until 1999 when it announced a unilateral truce following the capture of its leader Abdulah Ocalan.

The fighting had left some 37,000 dead, most of them Kurds.

On June 1 the group cancelled its truce, saying it had become meaningless because of what it said were "annihilation operations" by Turkish security forces against its fighters.

Clashes in Turkey 's southeast have since sharply increased.

The latest attack by suspected rebels killed three Turkish soldiers and wounded another three when rebels set off a mine on a road in Van province on Monday.

The Turkish government has repeatedly called on the United States to intervene against former PKK rebels entrenched in mountainous bases in northern Iraq, but Washington, which has included the group on its terrorist list, has declined to do so, citing more pressing security concerns in Iraq.  

Sunday, July 4, 2004 Last updated 1:10 a.m. PT

Moderate earthquake shakes central Turkey


ISTANBUL, Turkey -- A moderate earthquake shook central Turkey late Saturday. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.3 and was centered in Afyon province, the Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory said. Afyon is about 160 miles southwest of the capital, Ankara.

Quakes are frequent in Turkey, which lies atop active fault lines. Two devastating earthquakes killed about 18,000 people in northwestern Turkey in 1999.

On Friday, a magnitude-5.0 quake wrecked 67 houses in a village in eastern Turkey, killing 18 people and injuring 27.



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