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Hundreds dead following Turkey earthquake

Hundreds dead following Turkey earthquake

As many as 239 people are thought to have perished in an earthquake in the Van region of Turkey.

A further 1,300 people are still missing following the 7.2 magnitude quake on Sunday.

Deputy prime minister Besir Atalay said the city of Ercis was the worst-hit, with close to 1,000 buildings destroyed.

Some 2,400 rescue workers are involved in the relief effort, with many still trapped under rubble.

The earthquake struck at 13:41 local time at a depth of 20 kilometres.

The epicene was located 16 kilometres north-east of Van in eastern Turkey, the US Geological Survey said.

Declining offers of help from overseas, the prime minister thanked other countries for their offers of help, but stated Turkey could cope with the disaster on its own.

Ercis is an eastern city of 75,000 inhabitants close to the Iranian border.