Turkey vows to learn lessons after deadly quake

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Turkey vows to learn lessons after deadly quake

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Turkey is eager to show that lessons have been learned after Monday’s deadly earthquake.

Poor construction is being blamed for the loss of 51 lives as mud-brick village homes crumbled in the pre-dawn tremor, killing families as they slept.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pledged to rebuild dwellings, using stronger materials.

Villager Saadet Kilic told how her house collapsed in an instant. Efforts to save her three children were in vain. They were already dead, buried in the rubble.

Dozens were injured as disaster struck the Elazig region. Yet some experts say a 6 magnitude quake like this should not normally have caused any deaths.

For now, amid aftershocks, the priority has been to provide urgent help to survivors, living under canvas with their homes in ruins.

“It was very cold last night and it was very crowded here, even children, the elderly and sick people were here,” said earthquake survivor Cigdem Durmaz. “We were freezing. Thanks to the Turkish state, tents, blankets and food supplies were delivered.”

The question of quake-proof homes does not just concern this part of quake-prone Turkey. Scientists fear Istanbul could be hit by a major tremor in the next 30 years.