Turkey's earthquake survivors plead for more tents

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The Independent Online

Survivors of eastern Turkey's earthquake – which has killed at least 534 people and left thousands sleeping in the open – asked for more tents yesterday fearing death from the cold.

Some accused officials in the mostly Kurdish region of handing aid to supporters of the ruling AK party, after standing in long queues only to be told there were no tents left. Others said profiteers were hoarding tents and reselling them. "Everyone is getting sick and wet. We have been waiting in line for four days like this and still nothing. It gets to our turn and they say they have run out," said Fetih Zengin, 38, an estate agent whose house was badly damaged in Ercis, a town of 100,000 that was hardest hit by Sunday's 7.2-magnitude quake. "We slept under a piece of plastic erected on some wood boards we found. We have 10 children in our family, they are getting sick. Everyone needs a tent, snow is coming. It's a disaster."

The death toll yesterday rose to 534, with 2,300 injured in the biggest earthquake in more than a decade in Turkey. The Disaster and Emergency Administration said 185 people had been rescued alive from collapsed buildings since the quake. The bodies of a mother and her baby were pulled out from a building on Wednesday night, witnesses said.