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Turkish Cypriot School Team Killed in Turkey Earthquake

Turkey earthquake school team
Several members of the Turkish Cypriot school team were killed in the earthquake in Turkey. Credit: Famagusta Turkish Maarif College

At least 16 members of a group of school volleyball players have been killed in Turkey when their hotel collapsed after the earthquake in the city of Adiyaman.

A group of 39 people – including boys’ and girls’ teams – are said to have been in the building when it came down officials in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus announced.

The athletes and accompanied by parents, teachers and coaches had traveled to Adiyaman from Famagusta Turkish Maarif College.

Four of the party are known to have survived after the seven-storey building fell down, having reportedly managed to escape from the rubble themselves.

Some 170 people – including relatives and rescuers – have traveled to the wreckage from Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus. An education official from the island said they would remain there until the remaining students were found.

One mother at the scene questioned the construction of the buildings and asked if they had been adequately inspected, BBC reports.

At least another seven Turkish Cypriots in other locations in Turkey have been reported dead. This makes the total number of Turkish Cypriots dead in the devastating earthquakes in southern Turkey and Syria 23.

More than 21,000 people died in the Turkey, Syria earthquake

Hopes of finding many more survivors are diminishing, amid freezing-cold weather four days after the disaster.

However, search and rescue efforts continue in both Turkey and neighboring Syria – which was struck by the quakes as well.

More than 21,000 people have died – most of them in Turkey – after Monday morning’s initial 7.8-magnitude tremor and the hundreds of aftershocks that followed.

There have also been fears of a secondary catastrophe, as many people have been made homeless and are lacking shelter, water, fuel and electricity.

Turkish President Recap Tayyip Erdogan has described it as the “disaster of the century”. Opposition figures have accused Mr Erdogan of failing to prepare for the earthquake and have questioned how estimated 88bn lira ($4.6bn; £3.8bn) raised from an “earthquake tax” was spent.

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