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Turkey earthquake toll Strikes 31 as rescue operations continue for second day

Turkish rescue crews continued to pull survivors from collapsed buildings Sunday, over a day and a half following a strong earthquake struck the country’s east, killing at least 31 people, officials explained.

The magnitude 6.8 quake hurt 1,556 individuals, and 45 people were pulled out of the rubble up to now, the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said.

As overnight temperatures dropped to -5 degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit), crisis crews set up over 9,500 tents for homeless residents and dispersed some 17,000 hot foods.

Rescue teams focused their efforts in the Mustafa Pasa area of the city of Elazig and the neighboring city of Service, the nearest residential area to the epicenter of Friday night’s quake.

They were immobilized for 28 hours after the earthquake struck.

Virtually 600 aftershocks rocked the area as rescue teams worked. A size 4.3 quake struck Puturge district at the neighboring Malatya state on Sunday afternoon, AFAD explained.

Earthquakes are frequent in Turkey, which sits atop two key fault lines. A pair of powerful earthquakes struck northwest Turkey in 1999, killing approximately 18,000 individuals.