By Etem Geylan
IZMIR (AA) - Search and rescue operations continued Sunday in eastern Turkey after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck the region late last week, killing 35 people and injuring many others.
Burial ceremonies were held for seven victims in Elazig and Malatya provinces, some of which were attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish lawmakers.
Also attending were the head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, Ali Erbas, former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Gursel Erol.
A team of surveyors is still assessing the destruction caused by the earthquake, with initial reports suggesting that out of 1,521 buildings, 76 were demolished while 645 were seriously damaged and 425 suffered minor damage.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said in a statement that a total of 788 aftershocks were felt after Friday's earthquake.
So far, 1,547 people have been reported injured as rescue workers continue efforts to free people buried under the rubble, according to AFAD.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca and Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum visited the earthquake-hit region.
Soylu said 45 people who were trapped under the debris of houses and buildings were rescued. He also announced a rent allowance for people whose homes were destroyed.
He said cash assistance will be provided directly to families affected by the quake through local governorships as of Monday.
MP’s of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) also met with earthquake survivors in Elazig as well as Meral Aksener, the leader of Turkey's opposition Good (IYI) Party.