ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – The number of deaths in the Aegean Sea quake last week rose to 116 on Wednesday as rescue forces in the Turkish city of Izmir completed a search for buildings collapsed in the earthquake.
All but two were killed in Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city. Two teenagers died on the Greek island of Samos, located south of the epicenter of Friday’s quake. The US Geological Survey recorded the magnitude of the quake as 7.0, although other agencies recorded it as less severe.
Mehmet Gulluoglu, head of Turkey̵7;s Emergency and Disaster Management Presidium, said search and rescue operations were completed at 17 crashed buildings in Izmir. Rescue operations have been in full swing since Friday, pulling 107 survivors out of the rubble.
Of the 1,035 people injured in the quake, 137 were still hospitalized on Wednesday, the agency added.
After a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday night, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged not to give up until the last one is restored. The rescuers’ morale was lifted on Tuesday as they pulled a 3-year-old girl from the rubble of her family home 91 hours after the quake.
The tremors were felt throughout western Turkey, including in Istanbul, as well as in the Greek capital Athens. About 1,700 aftershocks followed, 45 of which were greater than 4.0 magnitude.
In Izmir, the earthquake has reduced buildings to rubble or seen floors above itself. Authorities arrested nine people, including contractors, for questioning about the collapse of six buildings.
Turkey has a mix of old buildings and new buildings that are cheaply made or illegally built that cannot withstand earthquakes well. Regulations have been tightened to strengthen or demolish old buildings, and urban renewal is underway in Turkish cities, but experts say it is not going fast enough.
The country is located on two major fault lines and frequent earthquakes.