|Published:||Oct 24, 2011 10:38 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 24, 2011 3:28 PM EDT|
ERCIS, Turkey (AP) - A cell phone led to rescue for a survivor of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake in eastern Turkey that killed at least 217 people.
The man was pulled from the rubble today after he managed to call for help on his cell phone. Dozens of people were trapped in hills of debris, but authorities offered hope that the death toll may not rise as high as initially feared.
Rescuers searched throughout the night among pancaked buildings as family members waited outside, some in tears. Cranes and other heavy equipment lifted slabs of concrete and residents searched for the missing with shovels. Aid groups scrambled to set up tents, field hospitals and kitchens to assist those in need.
Officials said hundreds of mud-brick homes in villages and concrete buildings in cities tumbled down in the earthquake that struck the province of Van, near the border with Iran.