Rescue workers searched for survivors under rubble in eastern Turkey Thursday after the second earthquake in three weeks killed at least seven people, inflating the death toll of 600 from the previous tremor.

Search and rescue teams worked through the night in the city of Van, rescuing 25 people from the ruins of two hotels, said a statement from Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Administration (AFAD). Broadcasters said late Wednesday at least 100 people could be trapped.

The owner of the flattened five-storey Bayram Hotel, Aslan Bayram, told broadcasters that building experts had given his 47-year-old building the all-clear after last month's quake.

At the time of the quake, some 15 guests were believed to be in the hotel and some were pulled out Thursday morning.

I am cold. Rescue me quickly, said a man who was aged around 55-60 years. Rescued from the Bayram Hotel 11 hours after the quake, he was strapped into a stretcher and carried away to a waiting ambulance.

The magnitude 5.7 earthquake, which struck 16 km (9 miles) south of Van at 1923 GMT Wednesday, heaped suffering on a region which is in the early stages of recovery from last month's tremor. Thousands of people are living in tents in freezing conditions.

A quake of such a magnitude would not normally cause significant damage but thousands of buildings sustained damage in last month's quake. There was a power cut in the area after the tremor.

Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay, who visited the Bayram Hotel with Turkey's foreign minister, said 25 buildings had collapsed in Van, of which 22 were empty. Only two hotels and a residential block had people living there.

Some 22 planes were carrying rescue and medical teams to the region, AFAD said.

Two of those rescued, including a 16-month-old, were flown by air ambulance to a hospital in the capital Ankara.


Rescue workers pulled a Japanese woman to safety from the rubble of the Bayram Hotel almost six hours after the quake, state-run Anatolian news agency reported.

Miyuki Konnai was part of a rescue and relief team sent to Van from Japan after the first quake. She was found injured but conscious and could be seen talking to her rescuers as she was carried to an ambulance.

Television footage showed panicked people running through the streets and ambulances rushing through the city with their sirens wailing. Medical staff treated one unconscious person lying on an ambulance stretcher.

Wednesday's earthquake comes after a 7.6 magnitude tremor hit just northeast of Van on October 23.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who had been in the nearby town of Ercis at the time of the quake Wednesday, visited the crisis coordination centre in Van, Anatolian said. Ercis was the worst hit area in last month's quake.

Davutoglu said around 100 people were being treated for minor injuries in Van, broadcaster NTV reported.

Around 30 ambulances stationed in Ercis were sent to Van. Ercis is some 60 km north of Van.

Other rescue teams were travelling to the quake zone from the nearby provinces of Mus and Agri.

Turkey is criss-crossed with seismic faultines and experiences small tremors nearly every day. Some 20,000 people were killed by two large earthquakes in western Turkey in 1999.

(Writing by Daren Butler and Jonathon Burch, Editing by Elizabeth Piper)