clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:


Hopes faded Monday that any more survivors will be found from last week's devastating earthquake, and newspapers reported looting and complaints about slow-moving government relief efforts.

Meanwhile, Turkey's premier, an engineer, rejected opposition claims he was personally responsible for poor construction of a hospital that collapsed in Friday's quake.The government already has announced an inquiry into building practices in the eastern city of Erzincan, all but flattened by the temblor, which measured 6.8 on the Richter scale.

In Enzincan, residents pitched tents and built campfires as temperatures slipped below freezing. Hundreds of people milled around the governor's office, trying to get help.

Aftershocks continued to rattle the stricken area Sunday, hampering rescue efforts. But two people were pulled alive Sunday from under the wreckage of an office block more than 50 hours after the earthquake hit.

The government and relief officials put the death toll at up to 800. Initial estimates had ranged into the thousands.

The quake left as many as 180,000 homeless, according to Turkish government and Red Crescent figures cited by the Office of U.N. Disaster Relief Coordinator in Geneva.

Thousands of tents, blankets and other emergency relief material were sent to the quake zone, but newspapers said the relief operation was poorly organized and many people were still without proper shelter.

Theft of relief supplies was reported, too. Mustafa Kul, a parliamentary deputy, said about 1,000 tents were stolen. The Istanbul daily Milliyet reported relief supplies were being sold on the black market, with tents selling for $330 and blankets for $15.