29 Oct 2011

UN sending aid to quake zone in Turkey

5:05 pm on 29 October 2011

The United Nations refugee agency is making an emergency airlift to send tents, blankets and other shelter supplies to the thousands left homeless by the earthquake in eastern Turkey.

The UNHCR says the first of four daily cargo planes carrying emergency supplies is scheduled to land in eastern Turkey on Friday.

Trucks will take the supplies to the city of Van for distribution there.

Each flight will be carrying about 500 tents and 10,000 blankets.

Some survivors have accused the government of a slow response in getting aid to the stricken region.

The government initially said Turkey could handle the disaster alone and accepted the many offers of help only two days after the quake.

Israel, Russia and Britain are among the countries sending basic necessities, while the Saudi king has pledged $US50 million to relief efforts.

The official death toll stands at 570.

Rescue crews have been working round the clock in sub-zero temperatures.

On Friday, they pulled a boy alive out of the rubble of an apartment block, five days after the earthquake on Sunday afternoon.