A new tremor in eastern Turkey on Saturday (4 December) brought down more houses damaged by last week's earthquake.
A new tremor in eastern Turkey on Saturday (4 December) brought down more houses damaged by last week's earthquake. But there were no immediate reports of any injuries. Meanwhile, United Nations relief officials and Turkish provincial authorities have denied reports of corruption in the distribution of supplies.
SYNOPSIS: Emergency camps are now being established in the provincial capital Van and close to the devastated villages. The refugees arrive with their few scanty belongings and are being housed in public buildings or in the thousands of cold weather tents which have arrived in the airlift. Some 5,300 people are now known to have died in the earthquake and the toll is certain to rise. The latest count by officials in the area showed 5,291 confirmed deaths and nearly 5,000 injuries, according to sources quoted by Reuters.
The international airlift of relief supplies to Van city, centre of relief operations, was halted on Thursday (2 December) after the airport was closed because of heavy snow. It was resumed later and relief officials said most emergency supplies, apart form the winter tents, had now reached their destination. Officials said they had seen no evidence to support foreign press allegations that the army was siphoning off much of the supplies for itself. A United Nations official said after a visit to the disaster area that, in comparison with similar relief efforts in various parts of the world, the overall picture was better than average.
He said everyone had some sort of shelter and food, though much remained to be done for the winter.
Relief officials said a hasty look at the situation could be misleading because with enough food and blankets already in the area for immediate needs, some had to be stockpiled.
Some 3,500 refugees have been ferried to shelter in towns and military camps. Hundreds of women and children receive their daily meals in this school canteen. But in spite of the punishing weather and grim prospects, some peasants in the earthquake area will not leave the piles of rubble which were once their homes. They want to remain behind with their animals which represent their livelihood. Some also fear property arguments after the winter is over. About 50,000 people lost their homes in the disaster. Many have now resigned themselves to making the best of the available relief and the possibility of living in a tent for the entire winter. Troops and volunteers are bringing in the homeless from outlying areas as fast as they can.