Eastern Turkey is still being ravaged by the 7.2 magnitude quake that hit at 1:41 local time today, ending 2011 with hundreds believed dead and countless survivors still trapped beneath the rubble. Here, see raw footage of the start of the quake, and video and photos of residents helping rescue workers save lives and seek shelter, as the temperature drops below zero and the death toll continues to grow.
Initial footage taken by a survivor on Oct. 23. The video was posted on youtube.com shortly after news of the earthquake ravaging eastern Turkey began to spread. Initially, the number of those killed were completely unknown, and the magnitude of the quake fluctuated between a 7.2 and a 7.6 magnitude.
Panic hit soon after the earthquake began, as aftershocks collapsed unstable buildings in Ercis and surrounding villages. Survivors searched frantically for loved ones, digging through the debris and trying to access the damage before rescue workers arrived.
Using available information and footage from Turkey, international news sources like Channel 4 began to report a death toll as high as 1,000, with at least 75-85 confirmed killed and some hundreds believed dead.
Citizens of Van were completely unprepared for the quake, despite Turkey's history as one of the most unstable and earthquake-rocked regions in the world. The 2011 earthquake is the worst Turkey has experienced since a quake in Izmit in 1999, with a magnitude of up to 7.6 and tens of thousands reported dead. The history of the 1999 quake did not improve poor construction in Van's mountainous region, however, as collapsed buildings buried countless victims.
As evening fell in Turkey on Oct. 23, rescue efforts became hampered, and more frantic. Here, video of Al Jazeera reporting on-site as an apartment building is searched for possible survivors, including two people who appeared to be trapped beneath the rubble.
It is now night in the Van region of Turkey, where the town of Ercis still appears to have been hit the hardest. Below, photos show turkey earthquake quake 2011 photo vidcitizens and rescue workers struggling to free the quake's victims and stabilize the area as the temperature drops and medical supplies become stretched. At least seven aftershocks have followed the initial quake, which hit eastern Turkey at around 1:41 local time.
An exact death toll is still unknown, though photos from the scene show more wounded than dead.