Death toll soars to 36 in eastern Turkey earthquake

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The death toll from a strong earthquake that rocked eastern Turkey on Friday has risen to 36, with 1,607 people injured, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) reported on Sunday.

A total of 45 people were rescued from ruins, and search and rescue operations are still going on in the debris of one building at the city center, the AFAD said in an updated statement.

The earthquake occurred at 8:55 p.m. local time (1755 GMT) in the province of Elazig at a depth of 6.75 km and was followed by 788 aftershocks, according to the statement.

The analysis of a total of 1,521 constructions in both Elazig and the nearby province of Malatya by experts revealed that at least 76 buildings were fully wrecked, and 645 others were severely damaged, the AFAD added.

Earlier in the day, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the problems were mostly in the villages of Elazig.

"We will detect the scope of the damage there and launch the construction works quickly," he told reporters in Istanbul before departing for Algeria.

The AFAD statement also said that some 10,000 tents suitable for families were shipped to the region, and more than 4,200 of them were installed in line with the demand in the field.

The agency also shared a couple of bank details on its website for those citizens who want to donate money for the earthquake survivors.

The Bogazici University Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute has revised the magnitude of the tremor from 6.8 to 6.5 on the Richter scale. 

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