PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As the search continues for survivors in eastern Turkey’s devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake (see related story), one local man who grew up in that area of the country said the region has always been earthquake prone.

Ibrahim Onaral is a board member and past president of TAFSUS, the Turkish American Friendship Society of the US.

“In that part of that country, even though the whole country is in an earthquake prone area, the eastern part of Turkey — what I can remember from my childhood, I can remember a handful of times these things would happen and they were always severe,” he told KYW Newsradio today.



onaral Local Man, Native of Turkey, Recalls Seismic Activity Of Quake Region

(Ibrahim Onaral. Source: TAFSUS)

Onaral (right) says the climate of eastern Turkey may prove to be a factor in the death toll.

“It’s more of a mountainous area, and weatherwise it’s pretty cold. Luckily it was not exactly in the winter, because in winter all areas are covered by snow,” he says.

And Onaral is hoping that more people will be able to survive in the rubble until they are rescued.  A civil engineer by trade, he’s taken a close look at the pictures of the buildings.

“I don’t know how well they are designed, as far as being resistant to earthquakes,” he notes.

Onaral is hoping to coordinate a massive relief effort along with other local organizations — he’s just awaiting word on what survivors need.

Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060

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