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Stunning Video: Dust Covered, Distraught Survivor of Turkey's Second Earthquake


"There was dust everywhere and the hotel was flattened."

Hair grey with dust and stumbling with the help of a friend down the street away from a fallen downtown Van hotel, this distressed Turkish man is a lucky survivor of the country's second earthquake in the last two weeks:

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While more than 1,000 aftershocks have continued to rock Turkey since its Oct. 23 7.2 magnitude earthquake. A second deadly 5.6 magnitude earthquake hit near Van yesterday, leveling a downtown hotel and killing at least eight.

Some 26 people were rescued in overnight digging in the provincial capital of Van in eastern Turkey. Some of those trapped in the rubble were foreign aid workers and Turkish journalists working in the aftermath of the first, more powerful quake that killed about 600 people.

Here is some footage from ITV News of rescue efforts:

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Rescuers pulled at least two more people from the same wreckage earlier Thursday.

Two reporters from Turkey's Dogan news agency, Sebahattin Yilmaz and Cem Emir, were still believed to be trapped in the hotel debris.

"The quake happened as our colleagues were trying to file their stories in the hotel's lobby," Dogan said.

Recep Salci, a member of the search and rescue group Akut, said sniffer dogs had indicated that more survivors might be under the rubble.

Some trapped journalists had sent text messages to colleagues asking to be rescued, Ozgur Gunes, a cameraman for Turkey's Cihan news agency, told Haber Turk television on Wednesday.

He had left the hotel before the quake, but rushed back to collect his camera after it struck, only to find that the building toppled.

"There was dust everywhere and the hotel was flattened," he said. He told Sky Turk television that the building had some small cracks before the quake, but that he and other guests were told that there was no structural damage.

Residents are responding with accusations of poor building inspections after the first quake.

Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said authorities had not been able to conduct a full inspection of the buildings for damage after the quake last month.

Dozens of angry residents accused local authorities of not properly inspecting damaged buildings, and they called for the resignation of Gov. Munir Karaloglu when he arrived at the scene with Atalay, video footage showed. Atalay tried to talk to the protesters, but he angrily walked away as they booed the officials.

Riot police then charged the crowd with batons as some people, including at least one journalist, fell down in the melee. Police also used pepper spray to disperse the protesters, but nearby rescue and health workers were also affected by the gas, Hurriyet newspaper said on its website.

Tough safety codes were approved a decade ago after earthquakes in western Turkey killed 18,000 people and prompted an outcry over the poor quality of construction, but enforcement has remained lax. After the quake last month in the east, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the negligence of municipalities, builders and supervisors amounted to murder.

For the second time in a month, the government has dispatched hundreds of rescue workers to Van province. It was already trying to cope with the misery of thousands of homeless following the October temblor that destroyed at least 2,000 buildings in Van and in the worst-hit town of Ercis.

The exact number of people at the Bayram Hotel was not known. CNN-Turk television said a number of people were also said to be waiting at an office of an intercity bus firm under the hotel when the quake hit, while some others were seen at an adjacent pastry shop.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake measured 5.7 and that its epicenter was 16 kilometers (9 miles) south of Van.

About 1,400 aftershocks have rocked the region since the massive earthquake on Oct. 23. Many residents had been living in tents, despite the cold, too afraid to return to their homes.

Dogan Kalafat, a senior official from the Istanbul-based Kandilli observatory, warned that more tremors could follow in the region, which is crisscrossed with many fault lines.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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