updated 1-20-00

Quake Rattles Northwestern Turkey

.c The Associated Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Jan. 20, 00) - A moderate quake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.1 struck northwestern Turkey today, shaking a town that was already hard hit by two quakes last year.

Authorities in Kaynasli, about 150 miles west of Ankara, said they had no information on injuries or damages. Istanbul's Kandilli Observatory said the temblor struck around noon and was centered on Kaynasli.

Kaynasli and the surrounding areas were struck hard by a Nov. 12 quake, which killed 845 people in the region. Thursday's temblor was an aftershock of the November quake, the observatory said.

The area was first hit by an Aug. 17 quake, centered some 60 miles west of the nearby town of Duzce. That quake left some 17,000 people dead.

AP-NY-01-20-00 0650EST

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TURKEY SUFFERS ANOTHER QUAKE
AND DEATH

10-5-99

Moderate Quake Hits Southern Turkey

.c The Associated Press

MARMARIS, Turkey (AP) -(October 5, 1999) A quake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.2 hit the popular southern coastal resort town of Marmaris early today, sending people running into the streets in panic. At least 103 people were injured while fleeing their homes, officials said.

There were no reports of damage from the quake, which was felt in neighboring regions, said Isa Kucuk, local administrator for Marmaris.

But people threw themselves out windows and off balconies, fearing their homes would collapse.

More than 30 people were admitted to hospitals with broken bones, said Fazil Akgun, the governor for the region. One person was listed in serious condition.

Nerves have been jittery since a 7.4-magnitude quake struck northwest Turkey on Aug. 17, killing more than 15,800 people. A number of aftershocks since have sent people fleeing - including one woman killed last week jumping out of her second-story home in Istanbul.

At least three aftershocks followed this morning's quake, which struck at 3:53 a.m., and hundreds of people, including tourists, spent the rest of the night outdoors out of fear.

Schools were closed for the day to allow authorities to inspect them for possible damage.

``We decided to close the schools to assess any damage and to allow the children, who have spent the night outside, to recover from the panic and rest,'' Kucuk said.

The quake was centered in Marmaris, 470 miles south of Istanbul, according to Istanbul's Kandilli Observatory.

AP-NY-10-05-99 0638EDT

Six Killed in Turkey Earthquake

By LOUIS MEIXLER

.c The Associated Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) Sept. 13, 1999 - A strong earthquake struck western Turkey today, collapsing buildings already damaged in a deadly quake last month and killing at least six people and injuring more than 200, officials said.

Most of the injured suffered broken bones as they jumped from buildings.

The 2:55 p.m. quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 and was centered on Izmit, about 50 miles southeast of Istanbul, the city's Kandilli Observatory reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colo., also reported that the quake registered a preliminary magnitude of 5.8, and called it an aftershock to the August quake.

``It was the strong aftershock which had been expected,'' agreed Aykut Barka, professor of geology at Istanbul Technical University.

Istanbul Deputy Governor Ali Cafer Akyuz said three people were killed in the town of Kocaeli when a building collapsed on their car. Another three were killed in the same town when a building fell on them, he said.

The semi-official Anatolia news agency had reported previously that two people were killed. It was not clear if they were in addition to or included in the toll announced by Akyuz.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said 239 people were hurt. Injuries were reported in the towns of Adapazari, Kocaeli, Golcuk and Izmit, which had suffered serious damage in the August quake.

There were reports of traffic jams in Izmit as frightened residents tried to flee the city.

Ecevit immediately suspended classes in the area hit by today's quake. Schools had reopened throughout Turkey today after summer recess.

Today's jolt was felt as far away as Istanbul, where people rushed into the streets in panic. Telephones lines in Istanbul were down after the quake.

Last month's quake, which registered 7.4, killed more than 15,000 people and devastated western Turkey, the country's industrial heart.

AP-NY-09-13-99 1100EDT

EARTHQUAKE
ANKARA, TURKEY
AUGUST 17, 1999


AUGUST 31, 1999

Use Hot link to jump down to this date quake

Early news turned out to be extremely inadequate.
Over 18,000 people killed and still more bodies being found
Officials estimate over 40,000 deaths.
Quake determined to be a 7.8 on the Richter scale

EARTHQUAKE INFORMATION

Date: 1999-08-17 at 00:01:39.80(UTC), 03:01:37 a.m local time

Surface Wave Magnitude: 7.8 (USGS)

Body Wave Magnitude: 6.3 (USGS)

Duration Magnitude: 6.7 (Kandilli)

Moment Magnitude: 7.4 (USGS, Kandilli)

Epicenter: 40.702N, 29.987E (USGS)

Depth: 17 km. (USGS)

THE SCIENTIFIC DATA PAGE

MORE SCIENTIFIC DATA

.

IZMIT, TURKEY - Residents of Izmit, some 90
kilometers from Istanbul, search for victims in a
collapsed apartment building after a heavy quake,
which measured 6.7 on the Richter scale, hit
western Turkey early August 17. At least 1,173
people were killed and some thousands injured,
Turkish authorities said. Photo by Kai Pfaffenbach
(Reuters)

Other Photos

Aid Agencies Assisting Quake Victims

.c The Associated Press

The following aid agencies are accepting contributions for assistance to victims of the earthquake in Turkey. They are members of InterAction, a coalition of relief, development and refugee assistance agencies.

Adventist Development and Relief Agency
Turkey Earthquake Relief Fund
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904
Tel: 1-800-424-2372
www.adra.org

American Jewish World Service
Turkish Earthquake Relief Fund
989 Avenue of the Americas, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10018
Tel: 1-800-889-7146
www.ajws.org

American Red Cross International Response Fund
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, D.C. 20013
Tel: 1-800-HELP-NOW
Spanish: 1-800-257-7575
www.redcross.org

Brother's Brother Foundation
1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 3005
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
Tel: 412-321-3160
www.brothersbrother.com

Catholic Relief Services
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, MD 21203-7090
Tel: 1-800-736-3467
www.catholicrelief.org

Church World Service
Turkey Emergency Response Fund
28606 Phillips Street
P.O. Box 968 Elkhart, IN 46515
Tel: 1-800-297-1516 ext. 222
www.churchworldservice.org

Direct Relief International
Turkey Relief Fund
27 S. La Patera Lane
Santa Barbara, CA 93117
Tel: 1-800-676-1638
www.directrelief.org

Food for the Hungry International
Turkey Fund
7729 East Greenway Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Tel: 1-800-2-HUNGER
www.fh.org

Lutheran World Relief
Turkey Earthquake Fund
P.O. Box 17061
Baltimore, MD 21298-9832
Tel: 1-800-LWR-LWR2
www.lwr.org

MAP International
Turkey Relief Fund
2200 Glynco Parkway
P.O. Box 215000
Brunswick, GA 31521
Tel: 1-800-225-8550
www.map.org

Operation USA
Turkey Quake Fund
8320 Melrose Ave., 200
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Tel: 1-800-678-7255
www.opusa.org

United Methodist Committee on Relief
Turkey Earthquake Fund
475 Riverside Dr., Room 330
New York, NY 10115
Tel: 1-800-554-8583
www.gbgm-umc.org/units/umcor/

World Relief
P.O. Box WRC Dept. 3
Wheaton, IL 60189
Tel: 1-800-535-5433
www.wr.org

ANKARA, Aug 17 (Reuters) - A large earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale rocked western and central Turkey early on Tuesday, killing at least two people and injuring dozens of others as buildings collapsed and fires broke out.

Turkish state radio reported many injured in the western city of Adapazari. In the nearby city of Izmit, residents said rescuers were trying to reach people trapped in a collapsed apartment block.

State-run Anatolian news agency said 34 people were hurt in the quake, which also hit the capital Ankara and Turkey's commercial centre Istanbul, some 440 km (275 miles) away.

Turkey's Kandilli seismic monitoring centre said the epicentre was near the western industrial town of Izmit.

Earthquakes of more than six on the Richter scale can cause widespread damage.

Witnesses said casualties were being rushed to a hospital in the Izmit. "It was very powerful. We were shaken out of our beds. Everyone is now out in the streets," said resident Mehmet Cankaya.

A fire broke out at a major oil refinery in Izmit owned by Tupras (TUPRS.IS).

One person died in the city of Bursa after jumping off the balcony of their home in panic. Another died in the Black Sea town of Zonguldak when a building collapsed, Anatolian agency said.

Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, was plunged into darkness as the quake cut power to the city of some 10 million people. Thousands of frightened residents crowded into the main streets near the central Taksim square.

A Reuters television crew said as many as a hundred people were being treated in a central Istanbul hospital, mainly for cuts and bruises from falling masonry.

Authorities said there was no report of casualties in the capital Ankara, but officials at the prime minister's office had set up a crisis centre to co-ordinate emergency efforts.

"There is chaos going on at the moment. We are not yet able to receive any information from anywhere on possible casualties and damages. We have set up a crisis desk here and the prime minister is expected to come," a government official told Reuters.

More than 140 people died in southern Turkey in an earthquake last year measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Turkey quake one of world's biggest in 20 yrs-USGS

Updated 2:00 PM ET August 17, 1999

LONDON (Reuters) - An earthquake which devastated western Turkey on Tuesday was one of the most powerful in the world in the last 20 years, according to statistics from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

It registered the quake at 7.8 on the open-ended Richter scale, used worldwide by scientists and seismologists to measure the magnitude of tremors.

The only stronger quake recorded in the last two decades was one at 8.1 that killed 9,500 people in Mexico in 1985.

Another was recorded at 7.8 in Luzon in the Philippines in 1990. It claimed 1,620 lives.

The scale was developed by Charles Richter, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology who died in 1985.

Turkish authorities estimated the quake, which struck at 3.02 a.m., at 6.7 on the Richter scale.

Asked to explain the difference, an official of the Kandilli seismic center in Istanbul said: "It is possible to get different readings depending on the type of seismic equipment being used. That appears to be what happened here."

Bob Smith, a geophysicist at USGS in Colorado, said: "It's a calculated average. There isn't one instrument that takes a reading on a quake. It will be refined when we get a good bit more data later today that we can't access immediately."

Dan McKenzie, Professor of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University, said: "The Richter scale is a measure of the size of an earthquake. Instruments measure the logarithm of the displacement and then values are corrected for the distance from the earthquake."

The scale is based on a logarithmic progression -- each increase of one whole number means a 10-fold increase in the tremor's magnitude. Hence a 5.0 quake would be 10 times more powerful than a 4.0 quake.

The scale, which Richter and Beno Guttenberg developed in 1935, can be quantified in several ways.

Two of the most important different measures are called MS and MW, which measure the earthquake's surface wave magnitude and the moment of a quake -- the size of the area that slips multiplied by the distance that it slips -- respectively.

The USGS said Tuesday's quake in Turkey measured 7.8 MS.

Reynir Bodvarsson, research engineer at Uppsala's University Geophysics Department said a preliminary reading from their center in Uppsala put the earthquake in Turkey at least at 7.5 MS.

McKenzie said the largest MW quake recorded was one of 9.5 in Chile in 1960 -- the equivalent of moving a 1,000-km-long, 50-km-deep fault by 10 metres. The Turkey quake would be the equivalent of a 100-km-long fault, 10-km deep, moving two metres.

McKenzie added: "This is not a very big earthquake though it's very big for Turkey. There is a quake this size almost every month though many are under water."

Dr Ahmet Isikara at the Kandilli Observatory located the epicenter eight km east of Izmit, the city hardest hit, and about 88 km east/southeast of Turkey's biggest city Istanbul.

He said the fault was 2.6 meters wide and reached a depth of 18 km. He said there were more than 300 aftershocks, some running to 4.2 to 4.5 on the Richter scale.

McKenzie told Reuters Turkey was susceptible to earthquakes because most of the country was moving "rapidly" westwards at 30 millimeters (about 0.1 inches) a year along the North Anatolian fault line.

Such earthquakes are caused by masses of rock breaking and slipping against each other along fault lines when put under stress by geological forces in the earth.

Quakes which take place closer to the earth's surface are more dangerous than those which take place at deeper levels, Bodvarsson said.

He added that the risk to life and limb also depended on the material used in construction of houses and office buildings and the quality of construction.

Another measure of earthquakes is the 12-point Mercalli scale which measures local shaking.

"The Mercalli scale measures the degree of local shaking, it is not terribly useful since it's level depends on how far from the earthquake you are," McKenzie said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Japan considering aid to quake-ravaged Turkey

Updated 1:16 AM ET August 18, 1999

TOKYO, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Japan said on Wednesday it was considering sending further financial and humanitarian aid to help victims of a powerful earthquake that killed more than 2,000 people in northwestern Turkey.

"We are considering aid in the form of money, doctors and emergency supplies," a Japanese Foreign Ministry offical told Reuters.

Japan, itself prone to major earthquakes, could provide Turkey with cash exceeding $300,000 after estimating the damage caused by the quake, he said.

The death toll from the earthquake, which struck near Istanbul early on Tuesday, had reached 2,138 by 0230 GMT on Wednesday, Turkey's state-run Anatolian news agency said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Japan dispatched a relief team of 53 medical and rescue experts to Turkey and the ministry official said Tokyo was also planning to send tents, blankets, power generators and other emergency supplies.

Japan's Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura is expected to arrive in Ankara later on Wednesday to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.

Komura is on a week-long visit to Iran, Turkey and Austria that started on Monday. Foreign Ministry officials said there was no change in Komura's scheduled visit to Turkey.

In January, Japan sent a $400,000 financial aid package to Colombia after the South American country was hit by a major earthquake.

((Michihiko Yashiro, Tokyo Newsroom +81-3 3432-8018

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FOCUS-Turks fight against time, fire after quake

Updated 1:50 AM ET August 18, 1999

By Osman Senkul

IZMIT, Turkey, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Turks dug through rubble with their bare hands on Wednesday in a desperate search for survivors while the world rallied to help the country ravaged by an earthquake that killed over 2,000 people.

The official death toll had risen to 2,160 in the 28 hours since the quake rocked Turkey's populous northwest on Tuesday, burying hundreds of residents in their sleep and setting the country's biggest oil refinery aflame.

Rescue teams dug at the ruins of a building at a naval base in Golcuk in search of some 200 buried sailors. They recovered 20 bodies and as many wounded. A guard said he and his comrades struggled to dig them out bare-handed.

Hardest hit was the industrial town of Izmit, where an uncontrolled fire threatened to blow up the Tupras refinery, Turkey's largest, prompting an evacuation of the area while black smoke billowed from the plant.

"People have plunged into double fear here. First one is the fear of a further quake, second one is explosions at the refinery. They all have left their homes and are now staying away from the refinery area," state-owned TRT television said.

Turkish officials hoped equipment from France and Germany would save the refinery, one of Turkey's showpiece economic complexes.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan pledged all possible U.N. help while many countries, even Turkey's traditional rival Greece, dispatched or promised expert rescue teams, medical aid and money.

The death toll rose by the hour but officials declined to speculate how high it might go. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit held out hope survivors would be found. Hundreds were feared buried in rubble.

"Many of the people here are suffering from broken or crushed bones," said a doctor at the private Ada Hospital in the town of Adapazari. Television showed pictures of children being borne from the wreckage of buildings, some, alive, to the applause of bystanders; some in silence, dead.

The cabinet declared the area a disaster zone, enabling the state to commandeer private and public resources to provide help.

Newspapers accused building contractors of having done shabby work that cost lives.

"Murderers!" screamed a banner headline in the best-selling Hurriyet newspaper.

Turkey's chief earthquake expert, Professor Ahmet Mete Isikara of Istanbul's Kandilli observatory, revised his rating of the quake to above 7 on the Richter scale from a previous measurement of 6.7.

The U.S. Geological Survey put the size of the earthquake, which was followed by some 300 aftershocks, at 7.8 on the Richter scale. It called the quake one of the world's most powerful in 20 years.

An earthquake estimated at 5.0 on the Richter scale jolted the San Francisco area of California on Tuesday, breaking glass and sweeping items off shelves but apparently injuring no-one.

From Istanbul, Turkey's commercial centre, to Izmit 90 kms (55 miles) to the east, thousands fearing their homes would collapse bedded down under the stars. At daybreak they began returning home, having slept the night away on firm ground.

Others rendered homeless had no choice but to sleep outside. The force of the quake ripped out electric pylons and tore cables apart, leaving many without electricity a full day later.

Izmit authorities distributed bread in the parks and open spaces of the devastated city.

"We stayed out in the open last night out of fear," said bleary-eyed factory worker Guler Karagoz. "Our house has a huge crack up the wall. We'd like to get some bread, but the queues are so big now."

The quake toppled the minarets of dozens of mosques in the overwhelmingly Moslem country but there were no immediate reports of damage to Istanbul's architectural treasures such as the Blue Mosque.

The United States rushed a 70-member search-and-rescue team to the disaster area. Israel, which counts Turkey as its strongest regional ally, said it was answering Ankara's call for survivor-seeking sniffer dogs.

Germany, home to the largest Turkish population outside Turkey, sent salvage teams with dogs. Japan said it was considering sending money, doctors and emergency supplies.

A Turkish volunteer rescuer in Istanbul said his team had worked round the clock to pull 19 people from the rubble of a six-floor apartment block. Four others still stuck were dead.

Buildings lay in ruin beside others unscathed. In Adapazari, the provincial governor's headquarters, re-built after an earthquake in 1967, stood all but undamaged while the law courts next door lay in a heap.

In Istanbul, some directed their fury at the corrupt system that has permitted shoddy construction of apartment blocks for the huge migration of job seekers from the countryside. Many of the weakest structures crumbled into small hills of debris while nearby buildings - made with sounder materials - barely displayed any cracks.

Ecevit promised a crackdown on unscrupulous contractors, but some critics said the system of inspections and building codes needed a complete overhaul - which is unlikely, given the political power of some developers.

Yet not all was calamity and tears.

Taxi driver Naci Yilmaz heard a tiny cry in the town of Adapazari, 90 miles south of Istanbul, and dug for four hours to reach a 12-day-old baby girl. Her parents had been killed, but she had only a small cut on her head and was reunited with her grandmother.

The worst earthquake in Turkish history killed an estimated 33,000 people in the eastern province of Erzincan in 1939.

AP-NY-08-18-99 1753EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Turkey Quake Death Toll Reaches 3,500

Thousands Still Reported Missing as Search Goes On

By BRIAN MURPHY

.c The Associated Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Aug. 18) - Disaster relief teams from around the world today joined overwhelmed Turkish rescue crews in the hunt for bodies and survivors of a devastating earthquake that has left nearly 3,500 people confirmed dead and more than 14,000 injured.

The outpouring of foreign assistance is certain to accelerate the work among the toppled buildings and homes following one of the most powerful quakes to strike anywhere in the 20th century.

Bodies overflowed hospital morgues and were stacked in refrigerated meat trucks. The government has recorded 3,479 deaths, but that number was certain to grow as more bodies are recovered.

The outside teams will face frustrating logistical problems to reach remote villages and squalid Istanbul shantytowns before all hope of finding survivors disappears.

Tuesday's immense quake shook western Turkey from Istanbul to the Golcuk area about 80 miles southeast.

As many as 10,000 people could still be trapped in rubble around Golcuk, a navy base town near the quake's epicenter, said Mayor Ismail Baris. Thousands more were missing in Istanbul and elsewhere.

Some Golcuk residents complained rescue efforts appeared focused on the collapsed buildings at the naval base, where more than 150 military personnel, including some top commanders, were missing.

In Izmit, a major industrial city, a fire raged on at Turkey's largest oil refinery and authorities evacuated a three-mile area. Officials feared the fire could spread to nearby oil tanks and touch off a massive inferno. A fertilizer plant with 8,000 tons of dangerous ammonia is also near the fire site.

''We need more rescue teams, we need at least 250 teams, because that is the number of buildings that have been destroyed,'' said Sefa Sirmen, the mayor of Izmit.

U.S. geophysicists at the National Earthquake Information Center in Colorado described the quake as one of the most powerful to be recorded this century, rivaling the 1906 temblor than devastated San Francisco.

The worst earthquake in Turkish history killed an estimated 33,000 people in the eastern province of Erzincan in 1939.

Tuesday's quake was initially reported as a magnitude 7.8 quake, but scientists acknowledged that its intensity might be downgraded as additional measurements were taken into account. The head of Istanbul's Kandilli Observatory, Ahmet Mete Isikara, set the magnitude today at 7.4.

Nearly 40 large aftershocks - reaching magnitudes of up to 4.5 - rattled western Turkey as injured people were carried out on military aircraft or aboard naval vessels in the Sea of Marmara.

Search and rescue teams and tons of equipment were dispatched by the U.S. and European nations, including a Swiss squad that assisted following three other earthquakes in Turkey since 1983. Most of the units include dogs trained to sniff out people trapped in the rubble. Even Greece, a regional rival, sent a military plane with emergency supplies.

Israel, a close Mideast ally, assigned special military rescue teams that helped in the aftermath of the 1992 bombing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the 1998 terrorist blasts at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan pledged ''relief and rehabilitation'' funds. In Geneva, the International Red Cross launched an appeal for about $7 million to aid about 100,000 quake victims.

''It's going to take Turkey a long time to recover,'' said U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, who was in Istanbul for talks on oil and gas pipeline projects when the quake occurred.

The Turkish parliament was to meet today to discuss the possible economic fallout from the extensive rebuilding expected for bridges and public works. The quake zone produces more than a third of the nation's gross domestic product.

The temblor was felt as far east as Ankara, 200 miles away, and across parts of the Balkans.

The memory - and fear - of quakes runs deep in Turkey, which sits on an earthquake-prone belt known as the Anatolia fault.

Tens of thousands of people fled outdoors and refused to return home as more than 250 aftershocks rattled their confidence that the worst was over. Highway medians, parks, empty lots - anyplace open to the sky - were turned into makeshift tent cities across western Turkey.

With electricity cut in many areas and the weather too warm for fires, many families spent the night in utter darkness.

''No one nts to go home because of fear of the earthquakes. We feel safer outside,'' said Vural Altin in the almost totally devastated city of Izmit, 65 miles southeast of Istanbul.

Health officials worried over diseases and possible epidemics with water lines and power cut to wide areas. The generally poor construction of many buildings was blamed for the large loss of life and could pose problems if people try to return to damaged structures.

Food supplies were growing thin in some of the most damaged areas, officials said.

There was no visible damage to historic and popular tourism sites in Istanbul such as the Blue Mosque, the nearly 1,500-year-old Hagia Sophia or Topkapi Palace, the seat of the Ottoman sultans.

Some tour operators doubt the quake will hurt tourism to Istanbul, a metropolis of 12 million people straddling Europe and Asia.

AP-NY-08-18-99 0828EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

U.S. Sending Rescue Teams, Aid to Turkey

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Aug. 17) - The United States rushed a 70-member search-and-rescue team to Turkey Tuesday and promised military help after an earthquake devastated parts of the west of the country, killing more than 1,100 people.

''Turkey has been our friend and our ally for a long time now. We must stand with them and do whatever we can to help them get through this terrible crisis,'' President Clinton said.

''On behalf of all Americans, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,'' Clinton added. The United States is a major supporter of Turkey, considered a vital bulwark on NATO's south-eastern flank.

Gen. Henry Shelton, chairman of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Energy Secretary Bill Richardson were in Turkey for official meetings when the quake struck in the early hours Tuesday and were helping coordinate the U.S. response.

Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, Marc Grossman, said the 70-member specialist team was expected to leave in the coming hours and travel to the worst-hit city, Izmit, southeast of Istanbul.

''I would expect that these people are going to be at work in Turkey sometime tomorrow morning,'' he told reporters.

The group, from an organization in Fairfax, Virginia which helped rescue victims of the bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania last August, includes dogs and equipment to locate survivors in rubble and help extricate them.

Another team of eight disaster experts was being sent to Istanbul to help the Turkish authorities coordinate rescue work, Grossman said.

Shelton offered to his Turkish counterparts U.S. assistance such as helicopters, tents and blankets from American bases there, White House National Security Council spokesman David Leavy said.

The United States has military facilities in several parts of Turkey, including at the air base in Incirlik in the east of the country used by planes enforcing a no-fly zone over northern Iraq.

Clinton was being briefed on the situation during the day by his national security adviser, Sandy Berger.

''We will continue to determine what further help is needed,'' Clinton said during a White House event about school violence. ''But you can only imagine how difficult this is for them, and we will do what we can to help.''

Grossman said there had been no reports of any casualties among Americans living in Turkey or among Turkish citizens working at the American consulate in Istanbul.

He said there were 37 Americans registered with U.S. authorities in the Izmit area and some 4,000 Americans in Istanbul registered with the U.S. consulate. This did not include many Americans traveling on business or as tourists.

Reut14:59 08-17-99

More Photos

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Turkey Quake Toll Near 3,900

Almost 18,500 People Reported Injured

By HARMONIE TOROS

.c The Associated Press

IZMIT, Turkey (Aug. 18) - Ink-black smoke from a blazing oil refinery soared into the sky like a funeral pyre Wednesday, the result of a devastating earthquake that has claimed nearly 3,900 lives, left wide sections of western Turkey in ruins and threatens to derail its already-struggling economy.

The inferno at the Tupras refinery was the latest disaster linked to the 7.4-magnitude earthquake that struck the highly populated region before dawn Tuesday.

So far, 3,839 people have died and nearly 18,500 were injured in Tuesday's 7.4 magnitude quake, according to a special Turkish crisis unit. But many people - perhaps more than 10,000 - were still missing, officials estimated.

Survivors denounced the rescue effort as sluggish and disorganized Wednesday, pleading with rescuers to look for loved ones in the rubble of destroyed apartment buildings. Many of those poorly constructed structures were built to house rural Turks who have flocked by the millions to the cities, looking for work.

''When are they going to come and help us? When we are all dead?'' cried Zeyfettin Kus in front of a collapsed apartment in Izmit where three neighbors were buried.

He said he could no longer hear any cries for help.

How many were still alive under the debris was not known, but the death toll appeared destined to swell as Turkish and foreign rescue teams slowly picked their way through the rubble - a task likely to last days.

A team from Israel headed to a village near Yalova, 90 miles southwest of Istanbul, after reports of 14 Israelis trapped in the rubble of a building. Police said one Israeli was pulled out alive.

In Izmit, one of the most ravaged places, authorities tried to evacuate a three-mile area surrounding the blazing oil refinery, 80 miles southeast of Istanbul.

Chemical foam dropped by firefighting planes failed to quell the flames. With no electricity, fire crews were unable to use pumps to draw water from the nearby Sea of Marmara.

The worst fear was that the blaze could engulf the entire field of 30 giant storage tanks, touching off an environmental disaster. Nearby, other serious dangers loomed: a fertilizer facility with 8,000 tons of dangerous ammonia was at risk of catching fire.

Barriers were set up to stop any oil from spilling into the sea.

''If the fire spreads ... it would be a new disaster for Izmit,'' said Memduh Oguz, the governor of this industrial city of 75,000 people.

The state-run oil plant, built in 1961 under U.S. supervision, provides more than a third of Turkey's retail and industrial grade fuel. Many of the factories and business in the quake zone - which account for nearly 35 percent of Turkey's gross domestic product - depend on the plant. Bringing it back into operation could prove a costly endeavor and set back government efforts to sell off the estimated $2.5 billion facility.

The blaze forced some nearby residents Wednesday to leave behind relatives still missing in the ruins of toppled homes.

Others couldn't bear to join the exodus.

''I was told to leave, but I just couldn't,'' said Savas Oguz, who believed two family members were still alive in the wreckage.

A boggling array of misery emerged from the rubble: grotesquely contorted bodies, dead children with faces frozen in terror, corpses stacked in refrigerated meat wagons and on the ice of a skating rink. One woman held a vigil for a newlywed daughter expected to be among the dead.

''I'm not leaving until they find her,'' proclaimed Ayse Mutlu, who has sat in the same chair in front of the toppled apartment in Izmit since the quake.

From Mutlu's stubborn watch to the cries of protest as Turkey's prime minister toured the quake zone, anguish gave way to anger in many places.

Even with dozens of nations sending in hundreds of rescue workers and tons of aid, some people in the city's poorest areas claimed they had not seen any form of organized help and were desperately trying to clear the debris themselves. A mountaineering club used their ropes and gear to try to pry away building slabs in areas near Izmit.

At sundown, most residents chose to remain outdoors - fearful that the hundreds of mild aftershocks could intensify. Crippled water and electrical lines made returning home futile even for those whose homes were intact.

Dwindling food supplies in some areas added to the mood of desperation. Crowds mobbed a convoy of bread trucks that entered Izmit.

Izmit residents shouted complaints at Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit as he toured the city, and his answer was not what they hoped to hear.

''We are doing our best,'' he said. ''There are hundreds of sites waiting to be cleared.''

The Radikal newspaper blasted officials in a large headline:

''The rescue is a pure fiasco.''

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Turkey Quake Magnitude Set at 7.4

By JOSEPH B. VERRENGIA

.c The Associated Press

Scientists are reassessing the Turkish earthquake's characteristics, with the quake's magnitude now downgraded by nearly half a magnitude point below initial estimates.

Initial reports pegged the quake at magnitude 7.8. But the head of Istanbul's Kandilli Observatory, Ahmet Mete Isikara, set the magnitude Wednesday at 7.4.

American geologists concur with the latest figure. That would make the quake along the North Anatolian fault a significant event, but not among the most powerful of the century.

''It sounds like we're reaching a consensus,'' said geophysicist Jim Dewey of the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo. ''I wouldn't be surprised if it continued to change by a tenth or two-tenths of a magnitude point.''

The higher magnitude reported in the hours immediately following Tuesday's quake reflected measurements from a small number of monitoring stations around the world that were recording a single type of seismic wave from the event.

The revised magnitude is the product of a computer analysis of the entire seismic spectrum, scientists said.

''It reflects the energy radiated by all the different waves,'' Dewey said. ''It's stronger and weaker in different directions, depending on the orientation of the fault.

Further analysis also shows the underground factors that contributed to the earthquake might have been more complicated than initially believed.

The North Anatolian fault runs east-west across Turkey and is near the junction of two continental plates that grind against each other within the Earth's crust - the Eurasian plate and the African plate. The Eurasian plate sits to the north and moves westward. The African plate sits to the south and moves to the east.

When earthquakes occur, the fault slips horizontally - in this case, to the right.

On Wednesday, geologists added a third plate to the mix. The smaller Arabian plate - which also influences earthquakes in Iraq and Iran - sits on an angle to its larger neighbors. It is moving in a north-northwest direction relative to the Eurasian plate at a rate of 25 millimeters per year.

The addition of the third plate squeezing into the same area adds more pressure to the North Anatolian fault from a different angle.

Investigators from U.S. agencies and universities are expected to arrive in Turkey by Friday. Their assessments of earthquake damage to buildings, roads and other features are expected to take several days.

Investigators also will analyze the effectiveness of disaster relief services, including search and rescue, medical care, food and temporary shelter.

''There's never enough people or equipment, and rescues always wind up being carried out by neighbors,'' said Susan Tubbesing, director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute in Oakland, Ca. ''By the time dogs arrive on the scene, they're retrieving bodies.''

AP-NY-08-18-99 1828EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Death Toll From Turkey Quake Nears 4,000

Survivors Still Being Found in the Rubble

By Daren Butler

GOLCUK, Turkey (Aug. 19) - Rescue workers recovered more bodies than survivors while grappling for a third day on Thursday with the wreckage of Turkey's worst earthquake in 60 years.

Many weary workers wore face masks against the stench of death as the fatalities neared 4,000. But there were moments of elation.

Around midnight, rescue workers helped two neighbors on opposite sides of one street -- a man and a woman -- emerge alive from the ruins around 40 minutes apart.

The quake which devastated Turkey's industrial northwest early on Tuesday toppled hundreds of buildings, crushing thousands of people as they slept.

A fire engulfed Turkey's biggest oil refinery Tupras in the town of Izmit. Clouds of thick black smoke rolled skyward as firefighting aircraft battled the blaze sparked by the quake.

State-owned TRT television said a restoration of electricity had enabled officials to reactivate the plant's fire-extinguishing system but the blaze raged on. Canada and the United States promised to help.

Angry residents accused the government and military of not doing enough to save thousands of people buried under tonnes of rubble, leaving rescuers to search for survivors with makeshift tools and bare hands.

The world sent rescue teams, sniffer dogs, and money to help. Three U.S. Navy ships carrying 2,100 Marines and 1,000 sailors including eight doctors were being sent, the U.S. Sixth Fleet said on Wednesday.

By 1840 GMT on Wednesday, the relentlessly-climbing death toll had reached 3,879, according to figures released by the state-run Anatolian news agency. Crisis officials feared a still higher final toll.

Officials said more than 18,000 people were injured overall.

The quake, the deadliest since December 1939, measured 7.4 on the Richter scale, and Anatolian reported two aftershocks of 4.0 and 4.1 in the disaster zone on Wednesday evening.

In hard-hit Izmit, rows of bodies wrapped in blood-stained towels and garish blankets packed an ice rink -- an impromptu solution for protecting hundreds of dead from rotting rapidly in the intense mid-summer day's sun.

People held handkerchiefs to their noses to ward off an overpowering smell as they searched for loved ones in the enclosed rink.

In the wreckage of a nearby Turkish navy base, more than 150 people still lay buried although 113 had been pulled out alive.

Rescuers pulled a six-year-old boy, stunned and dust-caked, from the ruins of a house in Golcuk and fought with picks and sledgehammers to save his mother, father and sister still buried below.

''Where's Mommy and Daddy?'' an uncle quoted the boy, Akin Sirnen, as saying. Rescuers searched for the answer. Another uncle, named Huseyin, held out little hope.

Workers later reached 38-year-old Aris Bayram, who was able to pull his legs out from a hole where rescuers had removed rubble in buckets. He had been trapped for 45 hours.

''Bravo, bravo,'' the crowd shouted. Many applauded.

His wife and children remained trapped. A slim, moustachioed man, wearing white underpants, he showed no sign of injury although covered in dust.

As volunteer workers carried Bayram out on a stretcher, he wept and said: ''My children have gone, my children have gone.'' Health workers and family tried to console him, telling him the children were fine -- but there was no evidence of this.

Across the street a short time later, workers pulled out Nimet Ozmen, a 33-year-old woman whose son Sezer, 7, was also rescued. Her husband Fikret, a baker, lay crushed to death beside her during the two days she was trapped. Israelis, Russians and Turks had worked together to free her.

Grasping the hand of a relative as she was taken away on a stretcher, Ozmen told her brother: ''May God be pleased, older brother.''

Reut21:19 08-18-99

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Turkish Quake Death Toll Hits 6,000

Hope Wanes for Saving Thousands Trapped Under Rubble

By PAUL GEITNER

.c The Associated Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Aug. 19) - The official death toll from western Turkey's worst recorded earthquake surpassed 6,000 today and hope waned for saving many of the thousands still missing under the mountains of rubble.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Turks camped out in yards, parks, and even on highway medians for yet another night in fear of going home - or because they had no home to go back to.

The Anatolia news agency said that in the hard-hit Izmit and Golcuk areas, 3,000 people were killed, an increase of 1,000 from the earlier official count. The agency later reported that the death toll in the town of Yalova rose from 350 to 1,311. The increases raise the official death toll to some 6,300.

AP-NY-08-19-99 0909EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Quake Swallows Wife, Daughter, Hope

By LOUIS MEIXLER

.c The Associated Press

GOLCUK, Turkey (Aug. 19) - While her brothers and nephews frantically pulled chunks of concrete and household items from the pile of rubble, Hacer Akdeniz called out for help.

But that was on Tuesday, and since then, her voice has been silent.

''She sounded tired and afraid,'' Akdeniz's brother, Ercan, said Wednesday. ''Now there are no voices anymore.''

The family fears what they will find when the debris is finally cleared. Hacer and her 14-year-old daughter Anil were trapped when the support beams of their apartment collapsed in the country's deadliest earthquake in decades.

Five floors came crashing down on their first-floor apartment.

Rescue workers and families throughout western Turkey have been clearing debris from thousands of homes destroyed or damaged in Tuesday's earthquake, which killed thousands of people.

Ambulances, helicopters and cranes have rushed to the scene of the temblor that ravaged the country's industrial heartland.

Homes and factories can be rebuilt. But the quake tore into families and left holes that can never be repaired: wives, fathers, children lost when the earth shuddered violently.

In many areas - such as Golcuk, a town of 60,000 a few miles from the temblor's epicenter - desperate families couldn't wait for relief crews. They grabbed shovels and picks and began pulling at the wreckage.

Even among the chaos, there are attempts at recreating some domestic comforts. Families cooked on the streets with pots and pans and put up blankets for some type of roof.

Hope sometimes survives - no matter how tenuous.

A few blocks from the Akdeniz's apartment building, two soldiers tried to crawl between the collapsed floor of a home to rescue a 3 1/2-month-old baby trapped between two dead relatives. But the building quivered and the soldiers left, fearing the building would fall on them. As night fell, no one dared make the attempt again.

About half a dozen of Hacer Akdeniz's relatives crawled atop the wreckage of their apartment building and began pulling away remnants of the family's life: kitchen tiles, boxes of detergent and a gold and black clock frozen at 2:55. The clock must have been running slow - the quake hit just after 3 a.m.

''I believe she's alive,'' said Ercan, a short, scruffy man who had a filthy, bloody bandage wrapped around his left hand. Earlier ''we heard her begging for help, and we heard other noises.''

But the site was silent Wednesday and a stone-faced Ertas, Hacer's husband, came to believe he has little hope of ever seeing his wife and daughter alive.

Ertas was sleeping in a room with his 19-year-old son, Erhan, when the earthquake struck.

''We heard a noise from the basement,'' Ertas said. ''Then the building collapsed.''

Bits of plaster rained down, leaving large bruises on Ertas' arms and shoulders.

Erhan crawled through a hole in the wreckage and reached down to pull out his father. Hacer and Anil were sleeping in the main bedroom and were trapped.

''We want to hope that this is just a dream,'' Ercan said.

AP-NY-08-19-99 0754EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

IZMIT, TURKEY - People search
the debris of a destroyed house in
front of a mosque in downtown
Golcuk August 19. Turkish
officials announced on Thursday
that at least 4,300 people died in
August 17 quake, the deadliest this
country has seen for in years.

Photo by Kai Pfaffenbach (Reuters)

Turkish Quake Death Toll Climbs Above 6,300

Updated 10:48 AM ET August 19, 1999

A Man Receives a Surgery Mask Against the Smell of Dead Bodys

By Daren Butler

GOLCUK, Turkey (Reuters) - Israeli army rescue teams battled Thursday to dig Turkish soldiers out of collapsed barracks at a Turkish naval base as the death toll in the country's worst earthquake in 60 years rose above 6,300.

Across the water from the Golcuk naval base, columns of smoke still billowed from Turkey's biggest oil refinery.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who had described the fire as the worst danger after Tuesday's devastating earthquake, said it was under control. Officials in Ankara predicted it could burn itself out in 48 hours.

The official death toll of 6,325 appeared certain to rise further.

No place seemed to symbolize the death and destruction wrought by the tremor more dramatically than Golcuk. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, may still be trapped under masonry at the naval base and in the city itself as rescue hopes recede.

Golcuk is a city physically and emotionally devastated.

Men and women weep at street corners, helpless at the prospect of mountains of rubble that entomb their loved ones. One young girl stood screaming over and over at the wreckage of her home where her mother was trapped, dead or alive:

"Please, Mummy! Please don't leave me!"

The navy said 89 servicemen were believed still buried under rubble at the base.

Tolga Berk, an administrator at the devastated officers' guest house, looked exhausted and still bewildered as he watched the Israeli soldiers scaling a mountain of debris, cutting through steel and drilling tunnels in search of survivors.

Over 100 have been pulled out alive by the joint operation.

"There's little hope of finding anyone alive now. It's really starting to smell," said Berk.

The warships and submarines moored at Golcuk Monday night have now been withdrawn to the port of Tuzla.

Rescue workers at the base, dominated by a crane towering over the rubble, and in the town wore masks or handkerchiefs over their faces against the stench of unseen bodies.

"Our biggest hope is that with these machines they can do the work carefully," fleet official Salim Kizilkaya said as he watched the Israeli specialists.

The Israelis, about 100 of them, paused to pray before setting to work.

Turkey has cultivated close relations with Israel, especially in the military field -- a courtship that has earned Ankara caustic criticism from Middle Eastern neighbors.

At Golcuk, the bodies of the dead must be passed by in the search for the living.

An old man sat on a blanket and wept next to a canteen at the base. He had climbed the ruins of a barracks building and looked down to see the body of his son, a junior officer. Now the ruin had been sealed off by sentries.

"I want my son buried, I want him taken out. I don't want him to rot down there like that," he said.

Authorities struggled to cope with the number of unclaimed bodies. Ecevit said photographs would be taken and all bodies buried as soon as possible to avoid disease, but the task is not easy in the sweltering heat of the wider disaster zone. The military was using refrigerated trucks and opening cold storage.

The quiet efficiency of the operation at the base contrasted with the chaos beyond the perimeter fences, in Golcuk.

There, much of the rescue operation is in the hands of local people using sledgehammers and picks to dig down to relatives or friends. Roads are often impassable and communications disrupted. The mood is still largely bewilderment but many are beginning to turn their anger on civil powers and the military, accusing them of doing too little, too late.

"The state has done nothing for us," said one man. "We've seen nothing of them. We're doing all we can to save ourselves."

The government plans tent cities to centralize provision of food and water to survivors camping out across the region. Continuing aftershocks, including one measuring Richter 4.8 Thursday, make most afraid to return home -- if home still stands.

Tuesday's quake registered 7.4 on the Richter scale.

One middle-aged man and his 12-year-old son gave some hope for relatives hacking at piles of rubble.

After 58 hours entombed, the boy crawled, squinting against the sunlight but apparently unhurt from a tunnel dug in the ruins of his home. He refused efforts to lay him on a stretcher.

"There's nothing wrong with me," he kept repeating. His father, emerging shortly after him with only scratches on his legs, said the same thing.

Chances of rescuing people trapped in such circumstances usually fall steeply after three or four days. But people have been known to survive much longer if they have water.

The world has sent rescue teams, sniffer dogs and money. Three U.S. Navy ships carrying 2,100 Marines and 1,000 sailors including eight doctors were being sent, the U.S. Sixth Fleet said Wednesday. Italian, Spanish, Canadian, Russian, U.S., British, German and other teams were working in the ruins of northwestern Turkey.

PHOTOS

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Five Americans Killed in Quake

WASHINGTON (AP) - Five Americans were among the thousands killed in the earthquake that shook western Turkey, the State Department said today. Marc Grossman, who heads the department's European bureau, told reporters that another two Americans were injured. No names of the casualties or details were released immediately. Meantime, a White House spokesman said U.S. rescue teams were working today to free three people pinned amid rubble in the hard-hit city of Izmit. More than 70 search and rescue experts from Fairfax, Va., and Miami began round-the-clock shifts early today.

Turkey Quake Toll Nears 7,000

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) - With time running out to save thousands of people still missing under mountains of rubble, rescue workers worked frantically to pull out survivors today even as the death toll from western Turkey's worst recorded earthquake neared 7,000. French, Israeli and Austrian rescue teams joined Turkish crews and civilians searching for loved ones in a massive effort to save the thousands of people trapped beneath the wreckage. At least 6,866 people were killed and 33,022 injured, the government announced today.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Turkey Quake Death Toll Nears 7,000

By PAUL GEITNER

.c The Associated Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) - With time running out to save thousands of people still missing under mountains of rubble, rescue workers worked frantically to pull out survivors today even as the death toll from western Turkey's worst recorded earthquake neared 7,000.

French, Israeli and Austrian rescue teams joined Turkish crews and civilians searching for loved ones in a massive effort to save the thousands of people trapped beneath the wreckage.

At least 6,866 people were killed and 33,022 injured, the government announced today.

In addition, some 35,000 people could be still buried under the rubble, U.N. deputy spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York.

Amid the bleak news, there was some heartening word: a refinery blaze, set off by the quake in Izmit near the epicenter was brought under control.

And an 8-year-old boy was rescued in Izmit this morning by the Fairfax County, Va., Urban Search and Rescue Team, said Lt. Lorenzo Thrower, a spokesman for the team. Thrower said the team was also working to free a 27-year-old woman buried under 15 feet of rubble.

A German team with 11 sniffer dogs and a Kuwaiti team with supplies also arrived today at Istanbul's airport to beef up the relief efforts.

In the town of Yalova, one of the hardest hit areas, a 60-member French military rescue team freed Elmas Kizilkaya from the rubble of a seven-story building - without having to amputate her ankle, as had been feared. Earlier, the French team amputated a man's hand to extract him from the rubble.

In Derince, near the epicenter, a married couple was rescued nearly 40 hours after the quake shook them out of their bed, dropped them several floors and brought the bed to rest just above them.

They spent nearly two days in a space just large enough for them to slither a few feet, shouting, praying and trying to forget about their gnawing thirst - until they saw a rescuer's hand.

``We expected to be crushed any moment,'' Kemal Yildirim said today. ``We thought we were breathing our last breaths.''

AP-NY-08-19-99 1255EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Outlook Bleak for Trapped Quake Victims
Death Toll Approaches 7,000 in Turkey

By LOUIS MEIXLER

.c The Associated Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Aug. 19) - Rescuers saved an 8-year-old Turkish boy who had been trapped for more than two days under the wreckage of his home, but hope was fading Thursday for thousands of others buried alive by an earthquake that has killed almost 7,000 people.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit admitted Thursday what many Turks feared - even the hundreds of professional rescue workers sent in from around the world will not be able to save all those under the rubble. Many earthquake victims will die of thirst and exposure.

''Thousands of buildings are in ruins,'' Ecevit said. ''It is not possible to reach all of them.''

Some 35,000 people could be still buried under debris, U.N. deputy spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York.

More than 70 U.S. experts were in the quake-damaged area Thursday and another 24-member U.S. team was expected shortly. Three U.S. Navy ships with 2,100 Marines and 1,000 sailors were ordered in to beef up rescue efforts.

Adding to the crisis, residents of Istanbul panicked Thursday after seismology experts at the city's Kandilli Observatory reported 210 aftershocks in just two hours and warned of unusual seismic activity in the bay of Gemlik, south of the city.

Although the aftershocks were not felt in Istanbul, some residents, fearing further destruction, walked through the streets carrying pillows and bags.

''Since aftershocks are continuing, we want our citizens to be vigilant a little longer,'' Istanbul Gov. Erol Cakir said.

The governor of Bursa, a large city in northwestern Turkey, urged residents to sleep outside.

The death toll rose to 6,841 Thursday, with nearly 34,000 injured, the government announced. It ordered 10,000 body bags to deal with the disaster, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

In western Turkey, the stench of decaying bodies filled the air. Ecevit said officials would accelerate burials to prevent the spread of disease.

In Adapazari, one of the hardest-hit towns, government workers buried 963 people in a mass grave. They took pictures of each of the dead so they could later be identified by families.

Relief teams from the United States, Britain, Kuwait, Israel and Germany came to help in the search for victims. But collapsed roads and bridges severely hampered relief efforts, and many aid workers complained that disorganization also plagued the operation.

At Istanbul airport, a German relief team was delayed for hours when their equipment and three of their 11 German shepherds were temporarily lost. In Yalova, an elite Israeli rescue unit became lost and had to ask civilians for directions to a disaster site.

''There is a problem of coordination on all levels among those helping,'' complained Brig. Gen. Arieh Eldad, the chief medical officer of the Israeli Army.

''(But) in such a catastrophe it is surprising that they are organized at all,'' he added.

A feeling that time was running out prompted rescuers to work even more frantically Thursday.

''It's very clear that the longer it goes, the less are the chances of finding survivors,'' said Helge Kvam, spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

He said 99 percent of the victims who survive such a disaster are rescued within the first 48 hours.

In Golcuk, another hard-hit town, local rescuers dug with their hands and pulled out an 8-year-old boy named Goktug, Anatolia reported.

In Derince, near the epicenter, a married couple was rescued nearly 40 hours after the quake tossed them out of their bed, dropped them several floors and brought the bed to rest just above them.

They spent nearly two days in a space just large enough to slide around, shouting, praying and trying to ignore their gnawing thirst. Then they saw a rescuer's hand.

''We expected to be crushed any moment,'' Kemal Yildirim said Thursday. ''We thought we were breathing our last breaths.''

U.S. rescue teams in Izmit began round-the-clock shifts to search for survivors, National Security Council spokesman David Leavy said in Washington.

More than 70 search and rescue experts from Fairfax, Va., and Miami are stationed in the hard-hit city, he said.

Fairfax County rescuers reported four successful rescues, including a 47-year-old man pulled Thursday from the rubble of a collapsed building, firefighter Jeff Donaldson said. Earlier, team members pulled out two women, ages 27 and 30, and an another 8-year-old boy.

A man from Marietta, Ga., and four of his grandchildren were the only Americans known to have been killed in the earthquake. They were identified by family members as Nizam Kilic and grandchildren Jeffrey Michael, 6; Jennifer Kayla, 5; David Tansan, 2; and Katherine Michelle, 9 months.

Dodging a major environmental catastrophe, Turkish firefighters brought a fire at the country's largest refinery near Izmit under control Thursday. Labor Minister Yasar Okuyan said much of the fuel ablaze at the refinery had burned out. Firefighters were still battling the flames, but there was little threat now that it would spread to other fuel tanks, he added.

The destruction came as Turkey was trying to carry out unpopular economic reforms to cut inflation and reduce the state deficit.

''The economy was already in a difficult position,'' Ecevit said. ''Now it will be worse.''

The quake struck Turkey's economic heartland, and the country's leading business newspaper, the Finansal Forum, put the damage at $25 billion.

AP-NY-08-19-99 1837EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

By CELESTINE BOHLEN

ISTANBUL, Turkey -- According to a neighbor who jumped out of bed when the floor beneath him began to shake and sway, the building across the street collapsed in 27 seconds flat.

His son, out on the balcony, yelled back to his father, "It is the mosque, the mosque." But when Umut Umutoglu went out into the predawn darkness on Tuesday, he saw through a cloud of dust that the newly built mosque was intact, while a five-story apartment building next door had been reduced to a pile of tangled metal and concrete rubble.

Avcilar, a new neighborhood on the western edge of this giant, sprawling city, suffered more from Tuesday's devastating earthquake than any other part of Istanbul, most of which was shaken but largely left intact. Here, several dozen buildings were destroyed, some collapsing face forward onto the sidewalks, others tilting like sinking ships onto neighboring walls.

The destruction in Avcilar seemed selective, leaving an odd checkerboard pattern of buildings that remain standing next to houses wrecked by the wrath of the quake. But residents said the selection was not random. The difference between the buildings that fell and those that did not, they said, lay in the quality of construction, in the corners cut by contractors who mix too much sand into cement and use cheap iron in their rush to build housing for Istanbul's exploding population.

"The contractor was not a good person," said Omar Talu, a 50-year-old electrician, as he surveyed debris that had once been the home of friends and neighbors, where a Barbie doll's head poked through the rubble. "He especially cheated on cement." Of the 17 people who lived in the apartment block on Erdek Lane, only 6 survived, he said.

Many residents of this neighborhood are immigrants from the Turkish countryside who have flocked to the city in the last decade, raising its population to an estimated 12 million. Apartment houses have sprung up like mushrooms on the city's edges, alongside flimsy shanties known in Turkish as "gecekondos," meaning they were thrown up overnight.

Up the street from Umutoglu's house, Hassan Gunay, a 50-year-old electrician, waited somberly for word of his cousin, the last unaccounted-for member of a family who came to Istanbul three years ago from southeast Turkey. All were killed early Tuesday when their building came crashing down; only the cousin's body has not been found, Gunay said.

He said that the building where his relatives lived had gone up without a permit. Three times, officials had ordered a halt to construction, but the building of eight apartments went up anyway.

On Tuesday morning, civil defense officials appeared at the site in their long underwear, digging through the rubble with their bare hands and pulling out survivors. Wednesday, officials said that of the 35 people who lived in the building, 12 were killed, including the contractor and members of his family.

"He probably cheated on materials," said Erkut Oner, a civil defense official who was keeping onlookers away from the site Wednesday.

At the site of another collapsed building, several dozen army trucks were parked along a highway as hundreds of soldiers sifted rubble by hand. They were hoping to find survivors, one onlooker said, after somebody thought they had heard voices.

Here, and all across Istanbul, families were settling down for the night in parks, parking lots and other open space, fearing aftershocks that could still bring down their houses.

"Our house is standing, but it has cracks all through it," said Beyhan Balci, a 47-year-old woman whose family was sharing a tent with neighbors. "We are waiting for the inspectors to come and give us a report."

But as Istanbul was taking stock of the damage, life was returning to normal today. Tourists flocked to the city's famous sites, none of which apparently suffered in the quake.

When the great Ottoman architect Sinan was building mosques in Istanbul in the 16th century, he first built the foundations and let them settle for two years before completing construction.

"If all the buildings in Istanbul had been built that way, then none would have collapsed," said Erkan Tezkan, a geophysicist who now works as a tour guide.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Turkey Quake Death Toll Nears 9,000

Rescue Workers Immunized Against Typhoid

By SELCAN HACAOGLU

.c The Associated Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Aug. 20) - Medical teams were immunizing rescue workers against typhoid today as more decayed bodies were pulled from the rubble of Turkey's devastating earthquake, driving the death toll to almost 9,000.

Turkish and foreign rescue teams raced against time to find survivors in the mountains of collapsed houses yet to be cleared. But they admitted the lack of water and sweltering heat made chances of survival slim for as many as 35,000 people still thought to be trapped under the debris.

People trapped in such situations usually die of dehydration after 72 hours - a window that passed early today for Turkey's quake victims.

Even as the death toll surged to 8,713, three days after the powerful quake, a Hungarian team pulled one person alive from the rubble - a 3-year-old girl - in the hard-hit region of Izmit.

The stench of decay pervaded flattened towns like Adapazari, where at least 1,000 people were killed. Crushed sewage lines and the thousands of homeless living on garbage-strewn streets without portable toilets or fresh water compounded the risk of cholera or other infectious diseases spreading.

''We can't cope with this,'' Oguz Titiz, a doctor, told private NTV from Adapazari. ''Vomiting and diarrhea started showing up last night, especially among children and the elderly.''

Health services were in a shambles, despite the arrival of an Israeli medical team, which set up across from the quake-damaged state hospital.

Stairs collapsed in a hospital building, making the first-floor the only one accessible. Some 40 Turkish medical students were sent to help, along with truckloads of supplies, but no one seemed to be in charge.

''There are wild problems with organization,'' said nurse Egemen Keskin, trying to nap on a lawn in her dirty white uniform. ''Nobody knows what they're doing here. ... We've got all the aid we need but no one to supervise it. Everything is in shambles.''

Col. Giorah Martonovits of Israel noted the lack of running water.

''We are expecting sanitation problems,'' he said. Doctors said the tens of thousands of people with cuts or other open wounds suffered in the quake or while trying to rescue others were at high risk of infection from unsanitary conditions.

The prime minister's crisis office said medical teams have begun immunizing rescue workers against typhoid, while others were picking up garbage, spraying disinfectants and distributing chlorine tablets to survivors for purifying water.

''There are many people, animals and food under the debris,'' said Health Ministry official Rifat Kose. ''An epidemic could occur as they decay, but we are taking necessary measures.''

But the World Health Organization in Geneva today called the health risk from unburied cadavers ''negligible,'' saying resources were better spent on providing portable toilets and clean water and monitoring for outbreaks.

The government ordered 10,000 body bags Thursday, indicating it expected the death toll to rise considerably, and it did.

U.N. deputy spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York that some 35,000 people could be still buried under debris from the earthquake. With another 35,000 injured, it was the worst quake ever recorded in western Turkey.

Jarring the country's shattered nerves even more was a report Thursday from Turkey's top seismologist of unusual seismic activity, leading him to believe that another earthquake was possible.

Panicked Turks grabbed food and bed sheets and spent the night on the streets in Istanbul, the capital Ankara and other cities. In Bursa, a major city 150 miles south of Istanbul, the governor's office ordered hotels not to accept guests. Some hospitals even moved their patients outdoors.

A mild aftershock registering 4.3 was recorded at 3:03 a.m. today, one of dozens of that magnitude to shake western Turkey since Tuesday. No damage was reported.

Turkey has mobilized 50,000 soldiers to help in the rescue efforts and aid poured in from across the world.

Some 2,000 foreign rescuers in the quake zone, including a U.S. team from Fairfax County, Va., headed out with sniffer dogs and high-tech gear to resume the search for survivors today.

''There are still reports of people hearing voices in the rubble,'' said Steve Catlin, rescue coordinator with the U.S. Agency for International Development's foreign disaster assistance office. ''This gives us pause for future hope.''

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit admitted what many people feared when he said that ''thousands of buildings are in ruins. It is not possible to reach all of them.''

He said officials would accelerate burials to prevent the spread of disease.

In Adapazari, government workers buried 963 people in a mass grave. They took pictures of the dead so they could later be identified by families.

Turkey asked Islamic prayer leaders to call for national unity during their sermons. Friday is the Islamic Sabbath.

AP-NY-08-20-99 0753EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 20, 1999

Hard-Hit Town Is Clogged With Too Many Volunteers

By EDMUND L. ANDREWS

OLCUK, Turkey -- With almost every building either toppled or twisted and the air reeking of garbage and decaying bodies, this town of 80,000 has been a nightmare since Turkey's vast earthquake on Tuesday morning.

But today people here confronted a new catastrophe: the relief effort.

EARTHQUAKE IN TURKEY

AID AGENCIES

The following aid agencies are accepting contributions for assistance to victims of the earthquake in Turkey. They are members of InterAction, a coalition of relief, development and refugee assistance agencies.

Adventist Development and Relief Agency
Turkey Earthquake Relief Fund
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904
1-800-424-2372
www.adra.org

American Jewish World Service
Turkish Earthquake Relief Fund
989 Avenue of the Americas, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10018
1-800-889-7146
www.ajws.org

American Red Cross International Response Fund
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, D.C. 20013
1-800-HELP-NOW
Spanish: 1-800-257-7575
www.redcross.org

Brother's Brother Foundation
1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 3005
Pittsburgh, PA 15233
412-321-3160
www.brothersbrother.com

Catholic Relief Services
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, MD 21203-7090
1-800-736-3467
www.catholicrelief.org

Church World Service
Turkey Emergency Response Fund
28606 Phillips Street
P.O. Box 968 Elkhart, IN 46515
1-800-297-1516 ext. 222
www.churchworldservice.org

Direct Relief International
Turkey Relief Fund
27 S. La Patera Lane
Santa Barbara, CA 93117
1-800-676-1638
www.directrelief.org

Food for the Hungry International
Turkey Fund
7729 East Greenway Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
1-800-2-HUNGER
www.fh.org

Lutheran World Relief
Turkey Earthquake Fund
P.O. Box 17061
Baltimore, MD 21298-9832
1-800-LWR-LWR2
www.lwr.org

MAP International
Turkey Relief Fund
2200 Glynco Parkway
P.O. Box 215000
Brunswick, GA 31521
1-800-225-8550
www.map.org

Operation USA
Turkey Quake Fund
8320 Melrose Ave., 200
Los Angeles, CA 90069
1-800-678-7255
www.opusa.org

United Methodist Committee on Relief
Turkey Earthquake Fund
475 Riverside Dr., Room 330
New York, NY 10115
1-800-554-8583
www.gbgm-umc.org/units/umcor/

World Relief
P.O. Box WRC Dept. 3
Wheaton, IL 60189
1-800-535-5433
www.wr.org

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the absence of a coordinated plan or anything resembling a crisis-management center, tens of thousands of volunteers from around Turkey arrived today, outnumbering residents and promptly creating bedlam.

The highway into Golcuk was backed up 20 miles all day long, often blocking ambulances and rescue equipment.

Hundreds if not thousands of trucks brought bottled water and bread, far more than local residents could consume.

But despite a total loss of piped water and electricity, no one thought to bring portable toilets, generators or tents.

The Turkish naval base here, where as many as 200 sailors and officers were killed, set up a civilian crisis center to coordinate relief, but because it is in the center of town, most of the trucks cannot get close to it.

"Too much help made a mess here," said Sabre Ozcan, a manager at Istanbul's municipal water company, who found his own trucks hopelessly bogged down.

"But you can't stop people from coming here."

The time available to extract survivors from the rubble is dwindling rapidly. Even today, two and a half days after the earthquake, rescue workers could still hear voices from the debris.

A handful of people were pulled out alive today, but workers at many sites were stymied by the wrong equipment or simply no equipment.

"I heard voices several hours ago," said Vilmaz Atilla, who was among those digging out an apartment building that had buried 6 of his relatives and as many as 100 other people. "But we can't get at them, and it is getting dark.

If we had a power generator, we could work through the night.

But we don't, and by tomorrow it will be too late."

Few cities were as utterly devastated as Golcuk.

All but a handful of its buildings were severely damaged.

Every single resident is now homeless.

All over town, clusters of survivors hold vigils as rescue workers dig out bodies and occasional survivors from hundreds of collapsed apartment buildings.

The city echoes with piercing sirens and the throb of helicopters overhead.

Cement dust covers everything and everyone, but most people are understandably reluctant to use the plentiful bottled water for washing.

But as bad as all that is, the utter chaos of Turkey's rescue and relief efforts is making things much worse.

Many civilians angrily complained that the Turkish military had been less concerned about rescuing residents than about rescuing sailors at the naval base.

Bulldozers and earth-moving equipment started excavating at the base almost immediately after the earthquake, but many civilians had to beg or even hijack government equipment as late as Wednesday afternoon.

"I went to Izmit with tears in my eyes, begging for a crane," said Semsi Kilia, an electrical engineer, referring to the provincial capital nearby.

"They said that this came from God, and that the destruction was over such a wide area that they couldn't move any faster."

Mr. Kilia managed to talk government officials into releasing one construction crane on Tuesday but watched in anger as equipment rolled through Golcuk and on to other cities.

Many residents said they had blockaded truck convoys and then persuaded drivers to start using the equipment right here.

Today, Golcuk had plenty of aid but much of it the wrong kind.

Army infantry units marched through town to help in relief efforts, but the soldiers carried nothing more than shovels. Tractor-trailers came loaded with excavation equipment, but the roads were too paralyzed for many to get through.

Ambulances and other high-priority vehicles were obstructed at every turn, even though police officers labored mightily to preserve an open lane on the highway for them.

International relief workers arrived from Israel, Russia and Western Europe, but found no one to give them any clear orders or supply translators.

"We were told they needed water here, but I can't give it away," said the driver of a truck carrying bottled water donated by an Istanbul textile company.

"I feel guilty because I know that there are other towns that probably need it.

But now we're stuck and can't move anywhere."

The chaos and confusion became even worse after the sun went down.

Most of Golcuk's residents had left and gone to villages in the nearby mountains.

Those who remained rigged shelters from scrap wood and fabric and tried to prepare dinner without ovens or stoves.

With free space sparse, many prepared to sleep along roads that were deafening with sirens, horns, shouting and the normal rumble of engines.

Many residents, though stunned by the influx of volunteers, were nonetheless grateful at the outpouring of help from all directions.

"This accident has created a great deal of solidarity," said Irfan Misirli, a grandfather who stood by an excavation site where several family members were buried.

A man named Nich who had packed up his car but could not get out of town, said, "It is a little disorganized, but we have received all kinds of aid from almost every city in Turkey."

Copyright 1999 The New York Times Company

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Burying Turkey Victims Poses Problem

By BRIAN MURPHY

.c The Associated Press

IZMIT, Turkey (Aug. 20) - These gravediggers don't stop working - even for the funerals. There are just too many bodies arriving.

Laborers hired for about $11 a day hack at the heat-baked soil in a weedy corner of the Bagcesme cemetery. Almost as soon as a grave is completed, another earthquake victim is carried through the iron gates.

Hour after hour, the funeral processions creep up the steep hill. Below lies Izmit, a gritty port town about 90 miles southeast of Istanbul where nearly every family was touched by tragedy when the earth shook with deadly force on Tuesday.

''We can't stop working,'' said gravedigger Mehmet Ozturk, sweat drenching his T-shirt. ''It might be disrespectful while funerals are going on, but we have no choice.''

More than 40 victims have been laid in the new graves, their names etched in pen into simple wood markers. There is room for hundreds more in the clearing, but there are nearly 2,500 dead in Izmit and hundreds still missing.

''We will just keep digging,'' added Ozturk.

The burials mean more than just the tears of farewell. Health authorities, fearing diseases such as typhoid from decomposing bodies, have appealed to families to arrange quick funerals or the state could take over as the death toll has pushed past 8,700.

In Adapazari, southwest of Izmit, government workers buried 963 people in a mass grave Thursday. Many bodies were left trapped in rubble or placed in makeshift morgues around western Turkey, including more than 100 at an ice rink in Izmit.

On Thursday, Cengiz Aykut stroked the body of his 7-year-old daughter, Goksin, who was laid out on a wooden table and wrapped in a white burial shroud according to Muslim tradition. A coffin next to her held her 2-month-old brother, Mehmet,nd his 65-year-old grandfather, Erol.

Aykut's wife stumbled toward the bodies. Her leg was bandaged and her face showed the cuts from the collapsing apartment walls that claimed the lives of her only children.

''No, no,'' she said, turning her back on the bodies. ''I can't say goodbye.''

Her husband took her lightly by the arm and drew her toward the coffin, which is discarded before the shrouded bodies are lowered into the grave.

''Goodbye, my loves,'' she finally whispered.

Across the field of newly dug graves, a group of people walked behind the bodies of Safiye Dagli and her 4-year-old son, Tolga. They were shrouded the way they were discovered after the quake: the boy held in his mother's embrace. Tolga's father was not among the mourners. His injuries were too severe.

Diggers paused for just a moment as a Koranic prayer was chanted. Then they returned to their work.

AP-NY-08-20-99 0739EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Turkey Rescuers Worry Over Disease

By PAUL GEITNER

.c The Associated Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Aug. 20) - Working amid the stench of rotting corpses, rescuers warned Friday that a lack of clean water and toilets could spread disease and drive the death toll higher from a quake that killed more than 10,000 people and may have trapped tens of thousands more.

Three people were pulled alive from beneath crumbled buildings three days after Tuesday's quake, but time was running out and little hope remained that others would be rescued. The disaster threatened to rival Turkey's most destructive quake - a 7.9 temblor in 1939 that killed 33,000 people.

As the scope of the destruction become clear, authorities took their first steps against contractors who built shoddy buildings blamed for many deaths.

After days of media and public outrage at the way the buildings toppled, including the attempted lynching of one town's construction baron, police detained three contractors Friday on negligence charges in the western city Eskisenir.

The number reported dead rose as rescuers pulled more corpses from the wreckage, and assessed damage in remote towns. In a matter of hours the town of Adapazari saw its death toll nearly triple, from 1,013 to 2,794, once the crews finally got there.

''The magnitude of the tragedy is beyond any imagination,'' government spokesman Sukru Sina Gurel said in Ankara, the capital. ''I admit rescue efforts have been very slow, but in that area we are talking about tens of thousands of buildings which were wrecked.''

Many were multistory apartment blocks thrown up quickly by builders accused of using substandard materials to cut costs - and political influence to avoid inspections.

Gurel conceded building codes ''have not been followed through,'' but insisted the 7.4 quake was so strong, ''it would have destroyed many buildings that were up to the standard.''

The grim death toll surged Friday to 10,009, with more than 34,000 injured. Reflecting the chaos surrounding the operation, the figures had gone up and down during the day due to miscounting, the government said.

Sergio Piazzi, an official with the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs based in Geneva, said Turkish officials estimated as many as 35,000 people were still unaccounted for and believed buried.

Tuesday's quake struck before dawn when most were asleep, trapping many inside their homes. As time passed, the lack of water and intense summer heat made chances of finding many more survivors slim.

Doctors say people trapped in such situations usually die of dehydration after 72 hours - a window that passed early Friday.

Some miracles were reported, however.

Turkish emergency workers heard a voice Friday under a collapsed house in the hard-hit Izmit region, and summoned Hungarian specialists with dogs who pinpointed the spot where a little girl was trapped.

After five hours of digging, the girl was pulled out, frail, thin and barely moving, to cheers from the gathered crowd. She was rushed by ambulance to a nearby medical camp.

A few miles away, a team of Russian rescuers saved a 16-year-old girl in the port town of Golcuk.

Austrians rescued Metin Gurbuzer, 39, from a collapsed five-story building in Cinarcik 85 hours after the quake. The man had heard his brother's voice and shouted: ''Big brother, I'm here,'' attracting the rescue team's attention.

Medics were immunizing rescue workers against typhoid and warning of health dangers for the masses of quake homeless, crammed in parks or along roadsides in the sweltering heat under makeshift tents.

The stench of decay pervaded flattened towns like Adapazari, near the quake's epicenter, where sewage lines were smashed and electricity and water was cut. Thousands of people, many with open wounds, were living on the streets, having lost everything.

''We can't cope with this,'' Oguz Titiz, a doctor, told private NTV from Adapazari. ''Vomiting and diarrhea started showing up last night, especially among children and the elderly.''

Piazzi said medical assistance was urgently needed. The French humanitarian group Doctors of the World said Friday it is sending three teams to Turkey - each with 20 doctors, nurses and specialists.

An Israeli medical team set up a clinic across from the quake-damaged state hospital in an old government building that was not in much better shape. Stairways had collapsed, making the first floor the only one accessible.

Some 40 Turkish medical students were sent to help at the quake-damaged state hospital, along with truckloads of supplies, but no one seemed to be in charge.

''There are wild problems with organization,'' said nurse Egemen Keskin, trying to nap on a lawn in her dirty white uniform. ''Nobody knows what they're doing here. ... We've got all the aid we need but no one to supervise it. Everything is in shambles.''

Doctors were hoping for help from an Israeli medical team that arrived Friday. The Israelis set up an operating room and other facilities in an old government building that was not in much better shape than the state-hospital - stairways had collapsed, making the first floor the only one accessible.

The Israelis warned the area could face epidemics of dysentery and cholera unless conditions improved.

One Israeli, Col. Giorah Martonovits, said that because of the lack of running water, ''we are expecting sanitation problems.''

The prime minister's crisis office said medical teams had begun picking up garbage, spraying disinfectants and distributing water purification tablets.

''There are many people, animals and food under the debris,'' said Health Ministry official Rifat Kose. ''An epidemic could occur as they decay, but we are taking necessary measures.''

But the World Health Organization in Geneva on Friday called the health risk from unburied cadavers ''negligible,'' saying resources were better spent on providing portable toilets and clean water and monitoring for outbreaks.

AP-NY-08-20-99 2137EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

U.S. Teams Search for Life in Turkey

By BRIAN MURPHY

.c The Associated Press

IZMIT, Turkey (Aug. 20) - Someone heard what sounded like scratching. The father of a missing girl had no doubt it was she.

''She's in there,'' the man pleaded to American rescuers.

Two members of the rescue team crawled into a crack in a buckled wall. The father directed them to a spot where he believed the girl was trapped. But when the drill punched through the concrete, there was only the unmistakable odor of a decomposing body.

All the resources, experience and sophisticated equipment brought in by the Urban Search and Rescue Team of Fairfax County, Va., couldn't alter one inescapable fact Friday: time was quickly expiring for anyone left alive in the rubble of Tuesday's giant earthquake, which killed thousands.

The Fairfax units fanned out in ever widening forays around Izmit, 90 miles southeast of Istanbul and near the quake's epicenter. But the hopes raised by four rescues on their first day quickly drained away.

Without water, anyone still alive had very little time left - a discouraging rule of nature confirmed every place visited by Red Rescue, the code name for the Fairfax teams that work during the day. At night, Blue Rescue takes over the exhausting task of trying to pull survivors from the ravaged structures.

''This place stinks of death,'' said Master Technician John Chabal, a Red Rescue member from Sykesville, Md., as he drove around Izmit hoping to find someplace that might hold a survivor.

Misery is a familiar sight for the 70-member Fairfax unit - one of two fire department search-and-rescue groups designated by the U.S. government for foreign disaster assistance. The other, based in the Miami area, is expected in western Turkey on Saturday.

In the past decade, Fairfax had been sent to earthquakes from Armenia to Mexico. They've coped with the aftermath of hurricanes. In 1997, they hunted for survivors in the bombed federal building in Oklahoma City. Last year, they did the same at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.

They also are familiar with the psychology of crises as hopes grow weak.

''Many people start hearing what they want to hear,'' said one of the team leaders, Lt. Ben Dye of Woodbridge, Va.

A trickle of stones is perceived as someone clawing at the rubble. The wind hissing over the wreckage becomes a cry for help.

''Do you blame them?'' asked Dye. ''Think about if it was your relative down there. You want to think they are still alive. You're mind does funny things.''

Yet there is nothing ambiguous about the pattern of the earthquake damage. Dye has seen it at nearly every place that collapsed: the weak concrete and iron support rods lacking the grooves that help hold the structure in place. The smooth rods allow the cement to slide off like well-cooked meat from the bone.

''All it takes is one bad piece of building, and the rest goes down,'' Dye said.

On Friday, word reached Red Rescue that a Hungarian team saved a 3-year-old girl - one of the few rescues Friday in Izmit.

''That gives us some hope,'' said Nathan Smith, a coordinator for the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.

A strategy was made to drive systematically through every part of the city in search of places that rescuers may have overlooked. A city map, found in a destroyed police station, is divided into grids. The rescue units are assigned sectors.

Dye walked through the American compound and woke up team members trying to catch some sleep in the shade of tents.

''Let's go find somebody,'' Dye urged.

But again the neighborhood turned up the same: people scavenging what they could from their homes and trying to ignore the smell of death.

One new team member, firefighter Jack Walmer of Woodbridge, Va., cringed as the scenes rolled by. It was his first duty at a quake site.

''I never thought it would be so widespread. I mean, the destruction is everywhere,'' he said.

With Izmit turning up fewer survivors, plans were made for the Americans to move into more rural areas where relief assistance has been thin or nonexistent.

''If the other quakes are any guide, there will definitely be some more survivors for a while,'' said Dye. ''It's just a question of figuring out where they are. We don't have a lot of time to answer that question.''

AP-NY-08-20-99 1740EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Death Toll in Turkey at 12,000

Six Survivors Rescued Saturday; Focus Shifts to Finding Shelter

By PATRICK QUINN

.c The Associated Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Aug. 21) - With just six survivors rescued Saturday and hopes dimming that more will be found, authorities refocused their efforts on finding shelter for hundreds of thousands of people left homeless by Turkey's massive quake.

But the more than 115,000 buildings demolished or rendered uninhabitable by Tuesday's quake must first be cleared of bodies, which are feared to number in the tens of thousands.

Most of the 30,000 people still missing are presumed to be trapped beneath the rubble. Experts say people trapped in such situations usually can survive only 72 hours because of dehydration, or early Friday in this case.

When asked if the death toll could rise as high as 40,000, Sergio Piazzi, head of the European desk at the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said it was a possibility.

The official death toll now stands at more than 12,000.

Authorities considered pouring lime on mountains of rubble and roads crossing through hard-hit areas to prevent outbreaks of disease and stifle the stench of putrefying flesh.

Fearing typhoid fever, cholera or dysentery, officials have been spraying disinfectants and distributing water purification tablets in some regions.

New fresh water wells are to be dug in some areas, including the devastated seaside resort of Yalova, 30 miles south of Istanbul.

''So far we have not seen any signs of cholera, typhoid or other infectious diseases in water or food. But we are taking every precaution we can. All water is being sterilized, and our priority at the moment is making sure that rubbish is collected and that toilets are sanitized,'' said Ibrahim Ustun, a doctor in Yalova.

Pouring lime would hamper crews from carrying out further searches, but rescues were becoming fewer and farther between as time passed.

Outside Yalova, Israeli teams saved a 10-year-old Israeli girl buried in the rubble of her family's summer house. An 11-year-old girl and a 95-year-old woman were rescued inside the town, and a French team pulled out two sisters, ages 19 and 10, in Golcuk with the help of Turkish volunteers. In Degirmendere, a 22-man Greek rescue team took 17 hours to rescue a 9-year-old boy.

Although there have been cases of people surviving for as long as 10 days trapped under rubble, most earthquake survivors are pulled out in the first 24 to 48 hours.

Turkey's semiofficial Anatolia News Agency reported that British and Dutch rescue teams were leaving places such as Adapazari province, where more than 3,000 people died and 5,000 were injured.

''The reason we came here was to save people. That has ended,'' the agency quoted Edward Pearne, head of a British rescue crew, as saying.

But as some left, two dozen specialists from Miami, Fla., arrived Saturday.

In an effort to speed up the operation, the government requisitioned rescue equipment, fork lifts and hearses.

About 50,000 soldiers are helping the 2,000 foreign specialists and have been overseeing aid distribution to prevent looting and a black market. According to local media, 30 people have been arrested for looting.

Chief of the General Staff Huseyin Kivrikoglu said the military had discussed declaring emergency rule in the affected areas, but the government said no.

The government also denied reports that local governors were being replaced because of their inability to handle the crisis.

The assault ship USS Kearsarge was expected to arrive Monday. Fully staffed, the ship's hospital will have four operating rooms, 17 intensive care beds, 47 general ward beds and provide medical assistance to 500 more.

Officials were also taking steps to deal with people left homeless across a 400-mile stretch from far northwestern Turkey to areas near Ankara, the capital.

A total of 19,000 tents were set up in the more hard-hit areas.

Turkey's soccer federation offered its training field here to house the homeless and also announced a three-week break in play for the nation's most popular sport.

Anatolia said a camp for 3,000 people will be set up in Yalova, while the Adapazari governor, Yener Rakicioglu, said another will be built to house 10,000 in his province. In Adapazari, home to 360,000 people, 70,000 homes have been demolished or rendered uninhabitable.

At least 20,000 more tents were needed, and the United Nations was planning to provide 70 percent of them, field officer Ziya Gokmen said.

At least 1,600 people were killed and 4,326 injured and more than 600 buildings were destroyed or made uninhabitable in Yalova, a popular vacation site for Turks and a weekend retreat for many residents of Bursa and Istanbul.

''If the quake had struck on the weekend, more people would have been killed,'' Col. Ibrahim Onbay said.

The government also sent four ferries to serve as accommodation for people who lost their homes.

Many of the homes that collapsed were constructed with substandard materials, provoking public outrage at builders and local authorities charged with enforcing codes in the days since the quake.

Many people have put up their own makeshift tents - often blankets thrown over poles or twigs - in parks and other open spaces.

AP-NY-08-21-99 1906EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Turkey Soldiers Sent to Quake Areas

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) - More Turkish soldiers were sent today to quake-devastated areas, where many residents are enraged because they believe the government held off a mass mobilization at a time of major crisis. The official death toll from Tuesday's quake has surpassed 12,000 and some officials predict as many as 40,000 could be dead. With bodies piling up in makeshift morgues, health authorities are grappling with ways to block possible epidemics. Rains are forecast starting tomorrow, which could complicate rescue efforts and pose increased health risks

Earthquake miracle: nine-year-old girl found alive after 98 hours

SHIRAN Franco barely looked alive, but by all rights she should have been dead, writes Andrew Buncombe, in Istanbul.

For 98 hours the nine-year-old had been trapped in the rubble of her family's holiday home, destroyed by Tuesday's earthquake. But yesterday morning an Israeli army rescue team heard faint cries from beneath the shattered concrete. An hour later Shiran was carefully lifted into daylight, a soldier washing away the dust from her face with a bottle of water.

"It was unbelievable. The soldiers who rescued Shiran sat and cried tears of emotion," said her uncle, Albert Franco, who had watched as his niece was rescued in Cinarcik, a suburb in the town of Yalova.

Shiran, whose family originate from Turkey but live in Israel, was one of six people rescued alive yesterday. Among the others was a 95-year-old woman, also in Yalova.

But for every survivor there are hundreds of corpses or, more often than not, pieces of corpses, being gathered and removed from the rubble. With the official death toll standing at more than 12,000 and 35,000 people still missing, the final total will be closer to 50,000. Rescuers believe there will be at most only a handful more survivors.

Even Shiran's story contained as much tragedy as hope. While her mother was rescued after 30 hours, the body of Shiran's twin brother was recovered by the same soldiers who saved her. Her father and grandparents - like so many thousands of others - remain missing, presumed dead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For Yuksel Er, Resurrection Took 4 Days

Turkish Quake Survivor Was Entombed in Debris

By Lee Hockstader

Washington Post Foreign Service

Monday, August 23, 1999; Page A01

BURSA, Turkey, Aug. 22—It was just past 3 a.m. last Tuesday when Yuksel Er shuffled from his bedroom to extinguish the bathroom light. Er, a 40-year-old accountant, had to catch a ferry early that morning, and he was sleeping fitfully.

Then disaster struck. His apartment imploded, and for the next 97 hours and 33 minutes -- more than four days -- Er's world was reduced to this:

The heavy door that lay crosswise across his body, suspended 10 inches above his torso. The chest of drawers behind his right ear and the two small armchairs behind his left. The fragrant scent of his wife's soap collection. The searing thirst that parched his throat and chapped his lips. And, for a few hours, the fly that buzzed unseen around his head, nearly driving him mad.

Entombed in the ruins of his apartment by the massive earthquake that pulverized northwestern Turkey, Er lay on his back day and night in a pitch black space no bigger than a coffin. He could neither roll over nor sit up. He had no food, no water. He fantasized about drinking a Sprite but had nothing more than his own urine to wet his lips. He knew nothing of his family. He dreamed about heaven.

For 97 hours and 33 minutes, Er meditated and thought and prayed. And then his prayers were answered. Before dawn Saturday, he was pulled from beneath 15 feet of debris by a Turkish rescue team.

Er -- who lives in Yalova, just south of Istanbul on the eastern shore of the Sea of Marmara -- was among the last survivors to be pulled from the rubble of one of the most devastating earthquakes in Turkish history. Experts say that trapped people can survive for about four days, possibly a little longer, but only if they are unhurt and psychologically tough. After that, they usually succumb to dehydration.

Er had a few advantages. He is about 6-foot-2, just shy of 200 pounds and fairly athletic. He makes a point of walking everywhere and has never bothered to get a driver's license. Calm, resourceful and disciplined, he eats moderately and fasts every year during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He has a spiritual bent that appears to give him a quiet confidence.

"I never thought I wouldn't be found," he said, lying on his hospital bed today in the city of Bursa. At first, though, he didn't know what had hit him. He had just come from the bathroom when the quake struck with a deafening roar that lasted 45 seconds.

"It was awful," he said. "It was like a science fiction movie when a fireball rushes toward you and blows open your doors. I saw it coming clearly through the window in my son's room. It looked like a red fireball."

The front door of Er's third-floor apartment flew from its hinges, and he grabbed at it as the six-story building collapsed. He fell and revolved "like in a whirlwind, incredibly fast," then landed on the tile floor as the beams and debris crashed above the door and furniture that shielded him. Miraculously, he had just one injury; the nail on his left index finger was torn.

Engulfed in darkness and silence and trapped in his void, Er was sure Doomsday had arrived. But dawn broke a few hours later, and heavy equipment started plying the streets around the rubble of his apartment. Er could hear it, and he realized the world had not ended.

During the day, he whistled and pounded on the wall to try to attract attention, but it was in vain. He shouted in frustration. At one point, he had a sensation of wind blowing, until he realized with a start that it was his own breath. As the days passed, he kept quiet to conserve his energy.

He kept track of time by the muezzin's call to prayer from a nearby mosque and by from the sounds of machinery in the street. When the street noise faded and his crypt grew cooler, Er understood it must be night, and he slept. When it grew hot, he knew it was midafternoon.

After a full day, his legs and hips grew numb. But his arms were free, and as reached out in the darkness he felt a steel pipe above him. Grabbing hold of that, he could lift himself a few inches, just enough to allow blood to circulate in his lower limbs and restore sensation.

"That helped a lot, it made me realize I could last a while in there," he said.

For much of the time, he was alone with his thoughts. He thought of his last meal late Monday, of okra and yogurt. His hunger peaked, then faded but not before he briefly considered eating his wife's soap. He thought of his family and friends. He thought ruefully of the stern scolding he had given his 13-year-old son Eser, for monopolizing the family computer for six hours the night before the quake, "chatting" in English with foreign pals.

On the fourth day, he thought, or rather obsessed, about the fly that had begun buzzing around his face. And then, around 1 a.m. Saturday, he heard the sound of digging, suddenly closer than any he'd heard before.

"Is anyone in there?" came the voice. It was his cousin. When Er answered, his cousin ran for help, and returned with Er's son, who had been pulled from the wreckage the day after the quake. "He said, 'Dad, I'll never make you angry again.' And I told him it didn't matter because everything would be different when I got out of the rubble."

Thrilled at the prospect of deliverance, Er's spirits soared. "It was an incredible moment," he said. "I felt strong enough at that moment to spend another 97 hours inside."

The rescue team arrived minutes later and immediately called to Er to buck up his spirits. He'd be free in 30 minutes, the team leader shouted. In the event, it took 3 1/2 hours to pull Er out through narrow, jagged apertures and over shards of glass and debris. The ordeal left his legs covered with cuts and scratches.

"I almost gave up during the rescue," he said. "At one point, I just waved my hand and said, 'I'm staying in here.' "

When he emerged from the ruins at 4:35 a.m., head first and crawling, hundreds of people were waiting for him. When they saw he could walk they cheered.

"The first thing I wanted to do was rush down to the sea and have a good wash -- swim and a long drink of water at the same time," said Er. "I could have murdered for even one drop of water."

Today, the elation of his rescue has faded somewhat. He learned of the deaths of his wife and daughter as he listened to his son being interviewed on television Saturday night. "I've lost my mother, but at least I have my father," he said.

He is bruised and weak, and when he gestures with his arm he cannot hold it for more than a moment. When he walks to the bathroom outside his hospital room, it is with the shuffle of a man of 80, not 40.

"I'm starting a second life," said Er, surrounded by relatives and friends at the hospital. "I'm just going to try to make the most of it. I want to deserve a happy life with the people I love."

With that, Er wept.

Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rain in Turkey Complicates Rescues

By SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI

.c The Associated Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Aug. 23) - The skies over northwestern Turkey brought the mixed blessing of rain today, washing away dirt and dust that could carry disease but also bringing contaminated runoff from decomposing corpses into the streets.

The bad weather came as the government began to shift its efforts from rescuing the trapped to caring for the survivors of Tuesday's 7.4 magnitude quake. Turkish authorities asked some foreign rescue teams to leave as the government insisted it was in control of efforts to cope with the country's worst disaster in decades.

''Chances of survivors is diminishing hour by hour,'' said Joseph Uttrect, a Swiss rescue worker who was pulling out today.

Efforts by local searchers pressed on, including the rescue of a 4-year-old boy who spent 146 hours trapped in Yalova, 30 miles south of Istanbul.

''He is in good condition ... He asked for water and told us he is hungry,'' said Dr. Yusuf Bahadir, who was with the boy after he arrived for treatment in Istanbul.

The official casualty count crept higher today to 12,134 dead and 33,384 injured. Some politicians and relief leaders have estimated as many as 40,000 people may have perished and believe thousands of bodies are still entombed by rubble.

There were signs Turkey was preparing for the worst. The government asked the United Nations to help find 45,000 body bags, said Sergio Piazzi, head of the European desk at the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva.

''We are shifting from the search and rescue phase to the acute emergency phase,'' said Piazzi. ''But still we have hope to find some individuals alive.''

Each astonishing survivor gave crews hope to press ahead.

One miraculous rescue came after a son dreamed his mother - left unable to walk or talk by a previous stroke - was alive in the ruins, calling out: ''Come save me!'' Darcan Cetinol's dream drove him to urge rescuers to look for Adalet Cetinol, 57, who was found Sunday in what's left of Golcuk.

A 50-year-old woman was also pulled out Sunday by Turkish, Israeli and Bulgarian rescue teams, according to the Israeli army.

Displaced survivors abandoned soggy blankets and mattresses in a desperate search for cover from the heavy rain.

The rain also complicated efforts to clear the debris and continue looking for anyone who defied the odds and survived more than six days in the ruins. Rain makes the wreckage heavier and increases the risk it could shift and topple onto rescuers.

Health officials also feared the rain, which is forecast to continue for several days, would bring down toxins pumped into the sky by a huge fire that burned for days at Turkey's biggest oil refinery. Health Minister Osman Durmus urged people to evacuate the area near the refinery in Izmit, 90 miles southeast of Istanbul.

Many people wore face masks as their only protection against potential serious diseases such as typhoid fever and dysentery that health workers fear could rampage through the hundreds of thousands of weary survivors, some of whom have resorted to washing in pools from broken water lines.

''We expect several tens of thousands to be homeless'' but it's too early to say exactly how many were without shelter, Piazzi said. The picture was confused by the fact some people were staying with relatives or on ships.

Earlier, he said the government had asked for 20,000 tents that could accommodate a total of 100,000 people.

The government stepped up efforts to reverse the widespread impression that it was slow and disorganized in coping with the crisis.

Part of its strategy has been a large dose of patriotism - including from Durmus, who said Sunday that Turkish hospitals can handle all the injured and that foreign help, including the U.S. warships that arrived today, was not needed.

The USS Kearsarge and the USS Gunston Hall planned to treat earthquake injuries in their operating rooms. The ships also may offer fresh water from their desalinization systems, said Lt. Cappy Surette, a spokesman for the U.S. 6th Fleet.

Turkey's military chief of staff, Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, spent Sunday defending the army, the country's most revered institution. Many Turks have criticized the military, which appeared to hold off on mobilizing soldiers to dig for survivors.

Kivrikoglu said 53,000 soldiers have been involved in the rescue efforts, saving 20,000 people trapped in the rubble.

AP-NY-08-23-99 1202EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Small Boy Found in Turkey Rubble

By SELCAN HACAOGLU

.c The Associated Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Aug. 23) - Ismail Cimen couldn't sleep and was playing with his toy truck when his world went black.

For more than six days, alone in a tiny space below a collapsed balcony, the 4-year-old boy waited for someone to come. But for days, no one was looking. His relatives had given up the search and already prepared his grave.

On Monday, ''a miracle of God'' occurred, his uncle said. Sait Cimen was removing rubble to look for bodies when he shined his flashlight into a gap 18 inches high. Little Ismail squinted into the beam.

Bulgarian and Turkish rescuers helped pull the boy into the weak dawn light after 146 hours in darkness in Cinarcik, 30 miles south of Istanbul. At a time when many search teams are abandoning efforts to find survivors, the black-haired boy shows the will to live can often defy the normal boundaries of human survival.

''I was playing with my truck. Then I fell,'' whispered the emaciated and severely dehydrated boy while he rested naked in an Istanbul hospital. His nails were filled with the brown dirt he clawed at just after the quake struck at 3 a.m. on Aug. 17.

When he realized he was trapped, the boy called for his parents. When they didn't answer, he simply waited. Through badly chapped lips, he summed up his ordeal in the unvarnished honesty of a child: ''I was very scared.''

''We thought he was dead, too,'' his uncle said. ''I had even prepared a grave for him in his hometown.''

But other graves will be filled: his father and three sisters, aged 8 to 13, were killed. The body of one sister was buried in rubble only a few yards from the boy. The boy's mother, Serife, survived the collapse of the building and is hospitalized in the city of Bursa.

''She is inquiring all the time about whereabouts of her family,'' the boy's uncle said. She has not been informed of their fate.

Dr. Murad Molla, an emergency room physician, said the boy was in good condition and should fully recover.

AP-NY-08-23-99 0951EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

U.S. Quake Victims Return to Georgia

By RUSS BYNUM

.c The Associated Press

ATLANTA (Aug. 23) - A 76-year-old woman and her daughter-in-law, both injured in the devasating earthquake in Turkey, arrived home in Georgia today on a jet specially equipped with medical equipment.

The bodies of five family members, the only Americans confirmed dead in last week's quake, also were returned home.

Turkan Kilic, 76, was in critical condition in the intensive care unit at Kennestone Hospital with injuries to her lungs.

''I think she's at that point where she's very, very critical. She might make it, she might not,'' said Dr. Cengiz Kilic, one of Mrs. Kilic's four children who traveled to Turkey to bring back their injured and deceased family members.

Jan Kilic, Mrs. Kilic's daughter-in-law, was hospitalized in stable condition, recovering from nerve damage.

The women returned to Georgia early this morning on a special jet equipped with a ventilator and other medical equipment, Kilic said. Other family members returned on a flight from Istanbul late Sunday.

Turkan Kilic's husband, Nizam, and four of Jan Kilic's children - Jeffrey, 6, Jennifer, 5, David, 2, and Katie, 9 months - were killed in the earthquake.

A 3-year-old daughter, Natalie, survived with just a black eye.

The Kilic children and their paternal grandfather are believed to be the only Americans confirmed dead in the earthquake.

Nizam and Turkan Kilic, retired doctors, moved from Turkey to the United States more than 40 years ago.

AP-NY-08-23-99 1152EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Turkey Death Toll Climbs Again

18,000 Dead, Officials Plead for More Aid

By PAUL GEITNER

.c The Associated Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Aug. 24) - Turkish officials broadcast appeals today for everything from tents to bulldozers to help begin rebuilding shattered lives after last week's earthquake left some 18,000 dead and 200,000 homeless.

More immediate medical worries, however, began to emerge. Health workers warned that potential killers such as typhoid fever, cholera and dysentery could flare at any time in squalid encampments of those left homeless by the massive quake.

In a sign of those jitters, Israeli doctors quarantined a 21-year-old Turkish soldier thought to be suffering from typhoid fever, an acute infection spread by food and water contaminated by someone with the disease.

Yaron Bar-Dayan, the Israeli doctor treating the soldier, later said the man had a severe gastrointestinal fever that could be typhoid. But he added that the Israeli team did not have the laboratory facilities to make a complete diagnosis.

A medical emergency could significantly escalate pressure on the embattled government, whose health minister has said foreign doctors and supplies are not needed. Some newspapers have demanded the resignation of the minister, Osman Durmus, and some foreign health workers have complained that no contagious disease center has been established.

But experts said some public health fears were being fueled by misconceptions, primarily the myth that the presence of decomposing bodies alone could set off an epidemic.

The real health threat stemming from disasters like Turkey's earthquake, said Dr. Michel Thieren of the World Health Organization, was poor sanitation, contaminated water and the interruption of routine medical care, not the presence of large numbers of unburied corpses.

In an interview with CNN today, Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit acknowledged that there were delays in the rescue effort immediately after the quake, but that they were the unavoidable result of the severe damage to the country's transportation and communication networks.

''Of course the people have the right to be nervous, have the right to complain, but this is a natural disaster,'' he said.

Ecevit also acknowledged that shoddy construction may have contributed to the tragedy. He said ''mistakes have been made'' in lack of government oversight of construction, and that the government is already working on stricter measures to solve the problem.

Ecevit said he never considered resigning.

Meanwhile, many foreign rescue teams started leaving a week after the 7.4 quake struck western Turkey. State television reported today that at least 17,997 people have been confirmed killed. Some officials estimated the final death toll could reach 40,000.

For many, the end of searches was hard to accept.

''There are three or four people alive there,'' a man who would give his name only as Mehmet said angrily to a bulldozer driver who was tearing into the rubble of an apartment building in Izmit, 90 miles east of Istanbul.

Mehmet, 26, insisted his friend Arzu had called her brother Sunday night from a cellular phone, saying she and her mother, brother and sister were still alive in the wreckage.

Although dozens of people reportedly used cellular phones to call for help from under the rubble in the early days after the quake, the likelihood of anyone still having a charged phone a week later is highly improbable.

A 4-year-old boy given up for dead by his family was rescued Monday, but officials said the emergency response work was shifting to identifying and helping the wounded and other survivors. But a few crews, including Americans, pressed ahead with searching for survivors.

Heavy rains eased over the worst-affected regions. The muddy quagmires left by the recent downpours increasing fears of disease from mosquitoes and flies attracted by the foul-smelling wreckage. Thousands of decaying bodies are believed to still be buried, and contaminated runoff poured into streets.

Drenched survivors battled in vain to keep their simple cardboard-and-blanket huts from collapsing into soggy piles.

''No one is helping us,'' cried a 70-year-old woman walking barefoot through the muddy streets of Adapazari. ''All I have is my blanket, and that is wet.''

At a nearby Israeli-run field hospital, 10 children were evacuated from a tent swamped by the rain.

Memduh Oguz, governor of hard-hit Izmit province, urged those whose houses were not seriously damaged to return home.

''There is a practical side to it,'' Oguz said. ''In one neighborhood, specialists have told me that 4,800 apartments are structurally sound. That means 4,800 fewer tents.''

Turkey's National Security Council estimated there are 200,000 people without homes or who are unable to return to damaged buildings.

The government is desperate to deflect the impression it was helpless to deal with the disaster. Thousands of tents and hotel rooms were prepared in advance of the rain. But many survivors were either unaware of the shelter or simply too tired to reach it.

Turkey's public works minister, Koray Aydin, said emergency housing may not be ready until late November - when chilly rains pelt northwestern Turkey.

A quicker response to the housing crisis could help ease public anger toward the government and military. The military had been considered the lone Turkish institution capable of handling any crisis, but that admiration was eroded by a slow deployment of soldiers to the quake zone.

AP-NY-08-24-99 1155EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Quake Leaves Turkey's Kids Shaken

By DINA KRAFT

.c The Associated Press

ADAPAZARI, Turkey (Aug. 24) - Minutes before Turkey's deadly earthquake, a bad feeling drove 10-year-old Meklike Hamursci to beg her parents to allow her into their bed - possibly saving her life.

Her eyes widen and begin to tear when she describes the death of a playmate, crushed to death under her own bunk bed in the Aug. 17 quake.

Looking somber, the young girl with thick brown curls says friends are scarce. Many are either dead or have moved with their families to outlying villages where conditions are better.

The Hamursci family is camping out in a courtyard outside their damaged home.

Meklike, like thousands of Turkey's children, is living outside without electricity or running water, fighting the possibility of disease by day and nightmares about the quake at night.

The U.N. Children's Fund sent three teams of experts over the weekend to begin a weeklong assessment of the special needs of children in the disaster-stricken areas.

At the United Nations in New York, UNICEF's executive director, Carol Bellamy, said the teams will look at the psycho-social impact of the earthquake and its aftermath on Turkey's children. They will also evaluate water, sanitation, health, nutrition, and educational needs.

In the industrial city of Adapazari, 93 miles east of Istanbul, bulldozers scoop up the remains of the devastated downtown.

In the large blue tent her family pitched in a courtyard outside their damaged home, Meklike speaks of her fears.

''I'm afraid of getting sick. I know the corpses are smelling and the radio says there might be epidemics,'' she said sitting on a piece of plastic sheeting next to the tent.

Just a few steps away, Emil Aliyev, 13, sits with his younger brother and parents under a roof made of wood and plastic sheeting propped between the branches of two apple trees and a pole.

He said he and his friends don't play much anymore. Instead, they sit and talk about the quake.

The morning after the quake, he drew a picture of the mayhem on a scrap of lumber.

In the drawing, black ink stick figures hold their hands up in despair, shouting out for help amid wrecked buildings.

His mother, Melahak, a 38-year-old teacher, said she is concerned about how the quake will affect her children.

''We have lived our lives, but they have long lives ahead of them,'' she said.

Doctors said children are at special risk of contracting infectious illnesses such as diarrhea, dysentery, meningitis, and cholera.

AP-NY-08-24-99 0531EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Turks Turn to Internet to Find Loved Ones

By Elif Unal

Reuters

ANKARA (Aug. 24) - Mourning Turks are desperately searching for their missing loved ones not only under the rubble from last week's devastating earthquake but also in cyberspace.

Turkey's populous northwest was shattered by an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richer scale last Tuesday killing at least 18,000 people and injuring more than 40,000.

The death toll is expected to rise as thousands of others are believed to be buried under collapsed buildings.

A group of computer experts from Turkey's state research and development institute set up a Web site at www.saglik.gov.tr listing emergency phone numbers for the disaster zone and carrying messages from people searching for relatives or friends.

''I cannot find my nephew!!!,'' Serkan Yapici wrote Tuesday in an e-mail seeking help from others who might have heard of 18-year-old Mustafa, injured in last week's quake.

http://www.saglik.gov.tr/

The Web site is also trying to channel aid to the quake-hit region and carries lists of the most needed equipment in the disaster zone as well as bank account numbers for those who want to help.

''A firm wants to buy tents. If you know any company producing and selling tents, please send their e-mail addresses,'' says a message signed by Metin.

The earthquake left some 200,000 people homeless and made scores of children orphans. The Web site includes offers from those willing to adopt some of these children or offer shelter to the homeless.

''We want to be a protector family to those children who are now orphans or those who could not contact their families. Let's take children from that environment,'' read one couple's message.

The Web site also includes information from how to donate blood to the latest developments on the cleanup operations.

REUTERS Reut11:39 08-24-99

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Turkey Quake Survivors Struggling

By SCHEHEREZADE FARAMARZI

.c The Associated Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Aug. 24) - Homeless earthquake survivors battled to keep their cardboard and blanket tents from collapsing in a downpour Tuesday, and a new tremor 200 miles away sent residents of Ankara running into the streets in panic.

While the death toll from last week's quake soared to nearly 18,000 people, there were no reports of casualties or damages from Tuesday's much weaker temblor. The 4.7-magnitude quake was centered near Haymana, 40 miles south of Ankara, the capital. A 4.2-magnitude aftershock followed.

Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, whose government has been under fire for its slow response to the crisis, acknowledged Tuesday that there were delays in the rescue efforts.

But he said past governments bear some responsibility for allowing the shoddy construction that contributed to the high death toll. And he insisted some of the delays were unavoidable due to severe damage to telephones and roads from the 7.4-magnitude quake that struck before dawn on Aug. 17.

''Mistakes have been made,'' Ecevit said in an interview with CNN, adding that the government is already working on stricter measures to solve the problem.

Despite the criticisms, Ecevit said he has no intention of resigning.

''Of course the people have the right to be nervous, have the right to complain, but this is a natural disaster,'' he said.

''We will certainly derive lessons from the experience of this last disaster,'' he said. ''We will certainly benefit from the experiences and knowledge of foreign experts.''

The relief efforts have overwhelmed Turkey, which has appealed for aid, including disinfectants, tetanus vaccines, tents, flashlights, blankets, garbage trucks and heavy machinery for clearing rubble. It has also asked the United Nations to help get 45,000 body bags.

Turkey's National Security Council estimated that 200,000 people have been left homeless and are staying in tents and makeshift shelters.

The death toll rose to 17,997 Tuesday as more bodies were uncovered from the wreckage. Some officials estimate the final death toll could reach 40,000.

Although the region has suffered numerous quakes over the past decade, experts say little has been done to address the problems of shady contractors who don't bother with permits and skimp on materials, or local officials who don't enforce building codes.

Thousands of cheaply made concrete-and-cinderblock apartment blocks collapsed during the quake, crushing thousands as they slept.

Tens of thousands of homeless are now camped out on streets, in parks and on vacant lots. Many are growing angrier with the new misery of heavy rains, and are waiting to see if and when the government will help them.

Memduh Oguz, governor of hard-hit Izmit province, urged those whose houses were not seriously damaged to return home to ease the demand for emergency shelter.

A Dutch group said it would send 30,000 prefabricated shelters designed to withstand quakes and winter cold, and the United States plans to send 3,500 all-weather tents.

Emergency housing, however, may not reach all the needy until late November - when heavy rains traditionally lash northwestern Turkey.

A few foreign rescue crews, including Americans, continued to search for miracles Tuesday, saying some people have been found alive more than a week after other quakes. But in general, the search for survivors was winding down and efforts were shifting to helping refugees - including taking measures to prevent disease.

The Pentagon announced Tuesday that it was sending three additional ships to the coast of Turkey, primarily on a mission to provide drinking water. The ships have a combined capacity for producing up to 100,000 gallons of drinkable water a day, which can be pumped ashore while at anchor.

The three ships - the first of which is to arrive within 48 hours - will bring the total number of U.S. Navy ships there to six.

Dr. Michel Thieren of the World Health Organization said the largest threat to survivors comes from poor sanitation, contaminated water and the interruption of routine medical care, not the presence of the large numbers of unburied corpses.

''The relationship between dead bodies and illness on the part of living persons is incorrect - the risk of disease is actually low,'' he said in a telephone interview from Geneva.

Doctors have warned that diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera and dysentery could spread in the tent camps and shacks where survivors now live.

In crowded, squalid conditions, normally controllable diseases like measles or tuberculosis - a particular problem in Turkey - can turn into a large outbreak.

AP-NY-08-24-99 2035EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Survivor of Turkish quake describes a fireball

Asteroid, volcanic, EMP?

"It was awful," he said. "It was like a science fiction movie when a fireball rushes toward you and blows open your doors. I saw it coming clearly through the window in my son's room. It looked like a red fireball."

EMAIL, 08/27/1999 1:04:08 AM Pacific Daylight Time: We are really having a rough time down here in Turkey. This is a nightmare come true on a grand scale. Just wanted to share some activity that has skipped everybody's attention. On the eve of the quake, fisherman from a small village near Cinarcik on the Marmara sea, when trying to collect their fishnets that they have left in the sea that night at a depth of approx. 500 meters, found out that it was impossible to collect them. After struggling for a couple of hours they managed to pull all fishnets up with a lot of rubble rocks and fried fish. Most of the nets seemed burnt and the rocks looked magmatic. Since most fisherman sleep in their boats they say that during the quake they saw that the sea turned red with fireballs.Time was 03.02 am. Question is: is there a kind of volcanic activity happening below the Marmara sea that we do not know about?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUGUST 31, 1999

One Dead, Dozens Hurt in Turkey Tremor

By SELCAN HACAOGLU

.c The Associated Press

IZMIT, Turkey (Aug. 31) - A strong tremor and aftershock hit northwest Turkey today, killing one person and injuring dozens, sending quake-damaged buildings crashing down in a shower of bricks and debris and terrifying survivors of the devastating quake two weeks ago.

An Istanbul hospital confirmed a 30-year-old man's death from falling debris in the Sea of Marmara city of Izmit, and the Anatolia news agency cited other hospital officials as saying at least 166 people were hurt.

In towns throughout the quake zone, frightened people wept, fainted and fled into the streets when the tremor hit. Some leaped from windows in panic.

At least seven buildings collapsed, Anatolia reported.

''I saw the walls cracking, the cupboard fell in front of me, and I was about to pass out - I was scared,'' said 20-year-old Mustafa Kabil, who was in his house in the town of Kullar.

Istanbul's main observatory said the quake's magnitude was 5.2, the sharpest tremor since the hours just after the Aug. 17 earthquake, which killed at least 14,202 people and left more than half a million homeless. Thousands of others were missing.

The strong tremor could be felt in Istanbul, 50 miles from Izmit. It came at 11:11 a.m., after a series of smaller aftershocks had rattled the quake zone overnight.

In Izmit, the quake and a 4.6-magnitude aftershock about 20 minutes later created panic, with people rushing outside for fear that buildings would collapse. Even workers in the town's government-run quake crisis center abandoned their offices and went to work in tents outside.

Part of a depot at a tire factory collapsed in Izmit, and in the nearby town of Derince, a damaged 6-story building fell down, Anatolia reported.

In the ravaged town of Adapazari, where more than 1,500 buildings are so badly damaged they are slated for immediate demolition, chunks of concrete fell as weakened buildings shook. Some of them shifted on their wrecked foundations.

Milling crowds of fearful people filled the streets, and the Adapazari governor's office made loudspeaker announcements calling for calm. One woman clutched her toddler, both of them weeping.

Gardens, parks and open spaces were crowded with people afraid to go indoors. Authorities urged people not to go back into damaged buildings to retrieve furniture or valuables. Some of those hurt had been trying to salvage belongings from damaged homes.

Telephone lines were jammed and TV stations reminded people not to make any non-essential calls to or from the quake zone. Traffic backed up on the main highway out of Izmit.

Three smaller overnight aftershocks measured between magnitude 3.1 and 3.3, the Istanbul observatory reported. More than 1,000 aftershocks have shaken Turkey since the quake, some of them powerful enough to topple quake-damaged buildings.

Up to 600,000 people have been left homeless, by government estimates, with most living in tents and shelters scattered throughout the quake zone.

Cold winter weather will set in beginning in another six weeks or so, and getting quake survivors into warm, winterized shelters is an urgent task. The 7.4-magnitude temblor, which devastated a wide swath of northwestern Turkey, toppled tens of thousands of buildings and caused an estimated $10 billion in damage.

Foreign governments and aid officials have been working in recent days to assess quake damage and determine the amount of assistance to be provided. U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright added a stop in Turkey on Sunday to her trip to the Middle East beginning Wednesday.

Mindful of dangers from new quakes, Turkey has been considering new preparation measures. The Milliyet newspaper reported today that the government would spend $3.1 million on an early-warning system for Istanbul, a metropolis of 12 million people.

It said the system would provide early warning on potentially damaging shock waves, allows rapid assessment of damaged buildings and help prevent gas leaks that could cause fires.

Public anger in Turkey has been running high against contractors whose shoddily built apartment houses collapsed in the quake.

In the town of Duzce, near Adapazari, prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 33 people held responsible for the collapse of several buildings where 1,117 people died and hundreds were injured.

Those being sought included contractors, owners and engineers who worked on the buildings, prosecutor Bilal Gunduz told the Anatolia news agency. Sixteen were already in police custody.

AP-NY-08-31-99 0941EDT

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

9/1/99 -- 5:52 PM

Hoping for survivors, Turkey focuses on rescue attempt

GOLCUK, Turkey (AP) - Quake-weary Turks were captivated on Wednesday after salvagers thought they heard someone knocking on metal beneath a shopping center that collapsed in the devastating earthquake last month.

The army sent soldiers with shovels to Golcuk, a badly hit town southeast of Istanbul, and rescue crews dug throughout the day and into the night - tantalized by search dogs' indications there might actually be someone alive amid the rubble, 16 days after the 7.4-magnitude quake.

``Everyone's hoping for a miracle,'' declared Channel D, one of many television stations that provided live coverage of the event.

But in the end, there were no miracles.

By late night, searchers had made their way through the shopping center's roof and six floors, finding no survivor and no corpse.

``We checked everywhere. There is nothing inside, despite the dogs' insistence,'' said Turkish Gen. Hayri Kivrikoglu, in charge of the operation.

Authorities called off the search, which they had thought might lead them to a cleaning man who had been sleeping on the third floor when the disaster hit western Turkey on Aug. 17.

Kivrikoglu said police officers would stand watch overnight in case any noises emerged.

The drama began at midmorning Wednesday, when people clearing away rubble thought they heard pounding from within, like someone hitting metal with a rock. Some rescue workers who rushed to the scene also thought they heard the same.

The last person found alive in the rubble was a 4-year-old, saved Aug. 23.

On Wednesday, as for days, searchers only pulled out more bodies. The official death toll rose to 14,559, up by about 65 for the day.

Well over a half-million people have been sleeping outside since the quake, afraid of aftershocks like one that sent search dogs scurrying out of the Golcuk site Wednesday.

Nearly 20,000 apartment buildings have collapsed in western Turkey and 30,000 have been ruled uninhabitable by teams of engineers dispatched across the 200-mile-long quake zone.

Anxious to return home, some survivors tried to stop inspection teams in the street Wednesday.

``Please come to my home. There are cracks,'' pleaded Mohammed Karakaya, who is living in a tent, following a team of the architects down the street.

The team refused, saying it had to follow its designated itinerary.

Also Wednesday, Turkey's Hurriyet daily reported that guards had moved condemned Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan out of his prison the night the quake struck, fearing the prison might collapse on its sole inmate.

Copyright 1999 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

From: DrBTWeeks

Subject: Weird Events Before Quake in Turkey

Hello everyone,

I would like to give you some info about what's going on here in Turkey. Well, ever since the earthquake, some very strange lights are clearly seen all over Western Turkey. They are incredibly clear, circular or triangular in shape, white, yellow, red and blue colored, remain visible in the sky for 5 to 20 minutes, following a materializing-dematerializing pattern. The funny thing is it became a routine thing as they have been showing up twice or three times a week recently. They became an inevitable component of the TV news and media.

Furthermore, just before the quake, the bottom of the sea in Izmit went red and the sea temperature went up to 40-45 degrees C. However, there are no underwater volcanos in the Sea of Marmara!!! Starting two days before the quake, hundreds of fish, crabs and other sea life forms died and not naturally! Somehow, they were burned!!!!! The fish nets of the fishermen were burned and we have several rock and stone samples from the sea, which went black in color. TUVPO (Turkish UFO and Paranormal Organization) is co-operating with the Smithsonian Institute and a few universities in the U.S..We already sent them some rock and burned fishnet samples, upon their request. Folks at TUVPO  will hopefully run a spectrum analysis on the video tapes. Some  fishermen are also saying that they witnessed an explosion under the  sea. And then guess what. Fireballs, strange lights, sightings never  ended in Turkey. At the same time more quakes with smaller scales are still ongoing in a wide range of area. As you know Greece was hit by a  5.9 quake a couple of days ago. Hundreds of other quakes vary from 3.5  to 5.2 in Turkey. They can't be the aftershock quakes because they occur on totally different fault lines.

The following are the possibilities that are discussed here as regards  to those lights:

1. UFOs

2. Anomalous Lumnious Phenomena (Earth Lights or Earthquake Lights)

3. Sudden release of methane gas from the surface of the Earth as a  result of a major quake. (Not likely though)

4. Unknown underwater volcanic activity

Well, no one knows what is going on here but I will appreciate your  TECHNICAL comments, if you have any. Sorry, I know this has nothing to do with Nosty but I would also be glad if you could provide some info  on that so-called Tesla and Plasma Weapon Prototypes.

[Are these events now being actually caused by someones  electromagnetic wave weaponry? It seems probable./ dr byron weeks]

opi

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