Avalanches in Turkey leave 38 dead, 53 injured

(Last Updated On: February 5, 2020)

At least 38 people have been killed and dozens are trapped after two avalanches hit Bahcesaray district of Turkey’s eastern Van province, Turkish news agencies reported.

According to the Turkish Anadolu Agency, the first avalanche occurred Tuesday evening. The second avalanche came down at around midday, Wednesday, burying rescue teams. At least 14 rescuers are among the 33 killed, the reported.

Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) reported that at least 53 people were injured in the disaster.

Mehmet Emin Bilmez, governor of the eastern Van province, has told the Agency that the deceased include civilians, gendarmes, village guards, and firefighters.

Bilmez said that the health conditions of nine of the rescued people were critical, while there was still no information on how many people are buried under the avalanche. 

The rescue team members had been searching for survivors from an earlier avalanche in eastern Turkey on Tuesday when they themselves were engulfed by snow. The number of casualties from the team is as yet unclear.

Bilmez told Anadolu Agency that intense search and rescue efforts are ongoing, and 15 ambulances were sent to the region.

At least five people were killed in the avalanche on Tuesday. With seven people rescued, two people were still missing.

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