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Toll rises to 81 in earthquake in Turkey and Greece, over 900 injured

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The country’s disaster and emergency authority said 740 people have been discharged so far.

The toll in the Aegean sea earthquake in Turkey rose to 79 as rescue efforts continued on Monday, Reuters reported. Two people have died on Samos, an island in Greece, due to the quake.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Authority said 962 people were injured and 740 people have been discharged. Over 3,500 tents and 13,000 beds have been supplied to provide temporary shelter.

Rescue workers in western Turkey also pulled out a 70-year-old man from a collapsed building, AP reported, citing Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. The minister said the rescued man, identified as Ahmet Citim, was in a stable condition.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said 26 badly damaged buildings would be demolished in Izmir, the worst-hit city in the country. “It’s not the earthquake that kills but buildings,” he said.

The earthquake that hit Turkey and Greece on October 30 had also triggered a small tsunami in Samos, where an elderly woman drowned. The tremors were felt across western Turkey, including in Istanbul as well as in the Greek capital of Athens. After the earthquake, Turkey’s Environment and Urbanisation Minister Murat Kurum said that as many as 196 aftershocks were recorded.

There was a debate on the magnitude of the earthquake. The United States Geological Survey had put the magnitude at 7.0 for the earthquake. Turkish government’s disaster agency, on the other hand, reported a lower magnitude of 6.6.

The earthquake led Greece and Turkey to set aside their differences and extend support to each other. Tensions between the two countries had escalated recently over energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean region.

Turkey is crossed by fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. In 1999, two powerful earthquakes killed over 18,000 people in the northwestern part of the country. Earthquakes are frequent in Greece as well.

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