Turkey quake toll rises to 596

Ankara, Oct 30 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The toll in the devastating earthquake in southeastern Turkey has risen to 596, while 4,100 people are reported injured, the country’s emergencies ministry said Sunday.

Previously, 582 people had been reported to have been killed and about 1,650 injured in the devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake. Early forecasts had suggested between 500 to 1,000 could have been killed.

A total of 188 people have been rescued by Sunday, the ministry said.

Search and rescue efforts are on in the area and the toll is likely to rise as more bodies are expected to be pulled out of the rubble.

The quake rocked the Van province Sunday afternoon (Oct 23), leaving more than 2,260 buildings collapsed. The tremor was the country’s worst since the 1999 quake that left at least 17,000 people dead in northwestern Turkey.

IANS