UPDATES WITH REMARKS FROM TURKISH MINISTERS
By Yildiz Aktas
ANKARA/ELAZIG (AA) - The death toll from Friday's powerful earthquake in eastern Turkey has risen to 22, the country's interior minister said on Saturday.
"Four people died in Malatya's Doganyol [town] and 18 others in Elazig," said Suleyman Soylu at a news conference along with health minister and environment and urbanization minister in quake-hit Elazig province.
A total of 39 people were also rescued from the rubble of collapsed houses and buildings, Soylu added.
He said that it is decided to evacuate a prison in Turkey's eastern Adiyaman province which was damaged as a result of the quake.
Meanwhile, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said that 128 injured people were receiving treatment in hospitals and 34 of them were in intensive care units.
For his part, Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum advised locals not to enter damaged houses as aftershocks continue in the region.
Kurum added that a 368-member team was at the field to assess the damage caused by the quake.
The 6.8-magnitude quake hit eastern Elazig province at 8.55 p.m. local time (1755GMT) on Friday, with its epicenter in Sivrice district, along with neighboring provinces and countries including Syria and Georgia.