By Orhan Onur Gemici
ELAZIG, Turkey (AA) - A woman was rescued on Saturday from the rubble of a collapsed house 17 hours after a powerful earthquake hit eastern Turkey.
The live broadcast of rescue efforts showed that a female rescue worker was speaking over the phone with the trapped woman, identified as Azize, in a bid to calm her during the rescue operation.
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.
At least 22 people were killed and more than 1,030 others were injured, according to authorities on Saturday.
Earlier, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said that a total of 39 people were also rescued from debris of collapsed houses and buildings.
Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said that two people were rescued in the Maden district of Elazig.
A pregnant woman was also rescued from the rubble 12 hours after the quake in the same district.
In the Mustafa Kemal neighborhood of Elazig, three other people were rescued by the rescue teams.
In Malatya's Doganyol district, two people were rescued from the rubble of a house.
Search and rescue operations continued in the quake-hit areas.
In Elazig, locals took shelter at sports centers, parks, and conference halls to spend the night.
This was not the first quake to hit Turkey in 2020. A 5.4-magnitude quake jolted western province of Manisa on Wednesday. And Ankara was rattled by a 4.5-magnitude quake Thursday.
A total of 51 people were killed in 2010 when a 6.0-magnitude quake hit Elazig province.