Fresh Turkey quake collapses hotel

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The Independent Online

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 caused a six-storey hotel and other buildings to collapse in eastern Turkey today.

Media reports said people were trapped inside after the tremor, which came two weeks after a strong earthquake in the region killed around 600 people.

State-run TRT television said the quake brought down the hotel as well as some buildings that had been damaged in the earlier quake in the province of Van.

TV footage showed residents and rescuers trying to lift debris to evacuate people believed to be trapped under the hotel in the provincial capital.

Sky Turk television said the hotel was being used by journalists and aid workers who were in the city. It was not known how many people were trapped inside. At least one person was brought out of the building alive, NTV television said.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake measured 5.7. Turkey's Kandilli seismology centre said it struck at 9.23pm local time (1923 GMT).

NTV television said rescue teams were being sent to the region from the capital, Ankara, and other areas, a week after workers had begun clearing debris from the earlier quake.

About 1,400 aftershocks have rocked the region since the 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the province on October 23.

Many residents had been living in tents, despite the cold, too afraid to return to their homes.

At least 2,000 buildings were destroyed in the stronger earthquake and authorities declared another 3,700 buildings unfit for habitation.