Turkiye: Buildings collapse as powerful earthquake hits Malatya
Turkiye: Buildings collapse as powerful earthquake hits Malatya

Turkiye: Buildings collapse as powerful earthquake hits Malatya

The 5.6 magnitude earthquake has killed at least one person and injured dozens more in a region that was devastated by major tremors three weeks ago.

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Several buildings have collapsed and dozens of people have been left injured after another powerful earthquake struck the city of Malatya in the south of Turkey.

Turkey earthquake: Erdogan seeks forgiveness over quake rescue delays

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked people in a heavily quake-hit area of Turkey for understanding over rescue delays, amid mounting anger at the government's response.

On a visit to Adiyaman, Mr Erdogan said the tremors and bad weather meant "we could not work as we would have liked". "For this, I ask forgiveness," he said.

More than 50,000 people are known to have been killed in Turkey and Syria after huge earthquakes on 6 February.

A new, smaller quake has hit Turkey.

It killed at least one person and injured more than 100 people in Malatya province, north of Adiyaman. Search and rescue teams were trying to find several people believed to be trapped under collapsed buildings.

There have been four new earthquakes and 45 aftershocks of magnitudes 5-6 since the two massive quakes on 6 February, according to Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

AFAD chief Orhan Tatar described it as "very extraordinary activity".

The World Bank says the 6 February quakes caused about $34bn (£28bn) of direct damage in Turkey, but the cost of reconstruction could be about twice that figure. Meanwhile World Bank official Anna Bjerde said the situation in Syria was "really catastrophic".

Mr Erdogan - who is seeking re-election as president in polls to be held by June - has been touring some of the worst-hit areas. His visit to Adiyaman came after strong criticism of the emergency response there from local people.

"I did not see anyone until 2:00 pm on the second day of the earthquake," Adiyaman resident Mehmet Yildirim told AFP earlier this month.

"No government, no state, no police, no soldiers. Shame on you! You left us on our own."

The disaster left 1.5 million people homeless and many thousands of people remain without shelter or sanitation. There are shortages of tents for survivors.

Discontent has spread around the country, with football fans singing "government resign" at matches this weekend.

Fans of Besiktas in Turkey's biggest city Istanbul threw thousands of soft toys onto the pitch, to be distributed to children affected by the earthquake.

Meanwhile riot police detained protesters at a demonstration in Istanbul.

More than 160,000 buildings containing 520,000 apartments collapsed or were badly damaged on 6 February.

The government says hundreds of people are under investigation and nearly 200 people - including construction contractors and property owners - have already been arrested.

Experts had warned for years that endemic corruption and government policies meant many new buildings were unsafe.

In Adiyaman, Mr Erdogan vowed to build more than 500,000 new homes along with infrastructure, medical centres and parks.

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Turkey is due to hold presidential and parliamentary elections by June. Mr Erdogan is seeking another term as president after 20 years in power.

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