Turkey quake rescue in progress

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ELAZIG, (Turkey): A thousands-strong rescue operation to pull survivors from collapsed buildings in eastern Turkey began winding down on Sunday, a day and a half after a powerful earthquake killed dozens. Teams had worked through the night to rescue 45 people from the rubble, the disaster authority said, using drills, mechanical diggers, buckets and bare hands in the search for survivors at three sites in Elazig province. The magnitude 6.8 quake struck on Friday evening, killing 31 people there and four in the neighboring province of Malatya, with more than 1,600 sustaining injuries. It was followed by more than 700 aftershocks, Disaster and Emergency Authority AFAD said. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the bulk of the massive rescue operation was concluded, thoughemergency teams had pinpointed six people still trapped under rubble. “It has been around 36 hours (since the quake), but we are still in the hours where we can hope,” he told a news conference in Elazig, some 550 km (340 miles) east of the capital Ankara. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, speaking alongside Soylu, said 104 people were being treated in hospitals, of whom 13 were in intensive care. None were in a critical condition, however.