Cries of panic and horror filled the air as a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey, killing at least 138 people as buildings pancaked and crumpled into rubble. The death toll was expecte to rise as rescuers sifted through the rubble and reached outlying villages.
Tens of thousands fled into the streets running, screaming or trying to reach relatives on cell phones as apartment and office buildings cracked or collapsed. As the full extent of the damage became clear, survivors dug in with shovels or even their bare hands, desperately trying to rescue the trapped and the injured.
“My wife and child are inside! My 4-month-old baby is inside!” CNN-Turk television showed one young man sobbing outside a collapsed building in Van, the provincial capital.