Turkey: Quake renders 2,000 homes uninhabitable

Associated Press
People seen outside their damaged houses after an earthquake measuring 5.9 magnitude late Thursday in Simav in northwest Turkey, May 19, 2011, killing three persons, wounding 79 other and causing material damage, Turkish authorities told news channels. Turkish rescue workers and soldiers scrambled Friday to set up tents to shelter hundreds of people left homeless after the earthquake damaged buildings.( AP Photo)
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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish authorities say last week's 5.9-magnitude earthquake has rendered more than 2,000 homes uninhabitable, forcing nearly 7,000 people to live in tents in a western town.

Gov. Kenan Ciftci of Kutahya province said Monday that of around 16,500 buildings inspected so far by engineers, over 2,200 are uninhabitable in Simav and its vicinity. The quake killed three people on May 19.

Turkish authorities have been struggling to enforce stricter building codes since two devastating earthquakes killed about 18,000 people in northwestern Turkey in 1999. Most of the deaths were blamed on shoddy construction.

Some residents of the tent city have complained of inadequate sanitary facilities and shortage of drinking water.

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