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BBC Ankara correspondent Chris Morris
"Many people can see no end to their plight"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 24 November, 1999, 05:49 GMT
New crisis for Turkey quake victims
Homeless people are trying to protect themselves from the elements

The Turkish authorities are issuing an international appeal for winter tents to shelter tens of thousands of people left homeless by the recent earthquake.

Turkey Earthquake
Huge numbers of people in Bolu province are still without proper shelter, and are bracing themselves against strong winds and freezing temperatures.

Doctors in the town of Duzce, which was at the epicentre of the quake, say the number of children with chest infections and respiratory diseases is rising fast.

Survivors have been left with little
With further cold weather forecast, the Turkish authorities are distributing blankets and heating units, but they have been unable to find enough winter tents on the international market to meet their huge demand. Officials say they need about 25,000 more.

About 730 people are known to have died when the quake struck on 12 November. More than 5,000 were injured, and hundreds remain unaccounted for.

Damaged buildings

At least 1,500 damaged buildings need to be demolished, while the task of inspecting many others to see if they are habitable has yet to be tackled.

The scale of the problem is so great that the local authorities cannot cope on their own, so teams of international experts may be called in to help.

The authorities had already been struggling to house survivors of the first earthquake in August.

They have not released any figures on how many people were left homeless by that disaster, but the UN Children's Fund, Unicef, has estimated the number at about 600,000.

Now, thousands of new victims are in need of help, as after-shocks continue to shake the region.

International loans

Turkey on Tuesday signed two World Bank loans worth $757.5m which are intended to help offset the damage caused by the devastating August earthquake, which killed more than 17,000 people.

The Bank has allocated the first $252.5m to help pay for fuel, building materials and other equipment to protect the homeless.

The second loan of $505m is intended to help Turkey set up an emergency response system, develop insurance for such disasters and enforce building codes.

Addressing a news conference in Ankara, World Bank vice president for Europe and Central Asia Johannes Linn said: "We are hopeful that the reconstruction projects will get underway quickly and that, before next winter, permanent housing will be in place for people that lost their shelter."
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See also:
20 Nov 99 |  Europe
Turkish quake: Bulldozers move in
17 Nov 99 |  Europe
Quake victim found alive
17 Nov 99 |  Europe
Quake repairs government's dented image
14 Nov 99 |  Europe
In pictures: Turkey's desperate search

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