- (Courtesy of the BBC)
After the 7.2-magnitude earthquake shook the Turkish city of Van last month, aid workers and journalists flocked to the epicenter to see what they could do to help and document. Unfortunately, where several of them flocked to was inside the Bayram Hotel, a building that beat out 2,000 other buildings by not collapsing in the initial quake... but apparently not without incurring structural damage.
Late Wednesday night, the lights in Van flickered briefly as another, 5.6-magnitude quake began to rock the streets. The Bayram and several other buildings went down in heaps of dust and rubble. Eight people are thought to have died in the hotel collapse and several others were, or are, texting for help while lying under the debris. This report from the BBC says that government officials had allowed people to move back into "safe" buildings in Van, despite the fact that many had been weakened by the Oct. 23 tremor.
This video purportedly shows the scene outside of the Bayram as the quake hit. A handful of people, perhaps reporters filing stories from the hotel lobby, made it out before the entire structure fell like a badly stacked house of cards. The safest place to be in Turkey nowadays? That would seem to be inside one of the innumerable "Mevlana prefabricated houses" distributed by the Turkish Red Crescent Society: