Rescue workers used shovels, heavy machinery and their bare hands to remove the rubble remaining from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake which hit Ercis, Turkey and Van, Turkey early Sunday morning, according to CNN.com.
Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said that at least 240 people were killed and more than 1,000 were reported injured. More than 1,270 aid workers from 38 nearby towns including Israel, were sent to Van and Ercis to help with the relief efforts, reported NYTimes.com.
The efforts of rescue workers have been hampered and postponed due to the aftershocks that continue to occur. Over 200 aftershocks have hit since the quake, with one on Monday reaching a magnitude of 5.0, according to Foxnews.Com.
Although the aftershocks have proven to be an obstacle for rescue workers, they were able to pull five survivors from the masses of rubble. Four of the five were rescued after one of the survivours managed to call for help from his cell phone, acccording to CBSnews.com.
The quake has left thousands of people homeless, and has forced many of them to spend the past two nights outdoors. USAToday.com reported The U.N. disaster agency has just recently reported that about 1,000 buildings have been compltely destroyed or demolished.
Interstingly enough, the population that the earthquake hit consisted mostly of people who were of Kurdish descent. The Turkish government has recently launched a massive crackdown on Kurdish militians who have performed numerous attacks against the Turkish military in recent months, according to the LATimes.com
The earthquake also caused some damage in the nearby neighboring cities of Armenia and Iran.
Photo courtesy of Yucel Tulleci.