This post has been updated 8X.
A 7.2 earthquake has hit the Van region (cities of Van and Erciş), so far 576 confirmed dead, 2708 wounded. My sympathies to all those affected. For a BBC report, click here. At least 2000 buildings collapsed. Temperatures in Van are near freezing and many people are outdoors. Looting of aid trucks has been reported (a van was looted during a live broadcast of CNN Turk. Watch here.)
A foreign ministry official says Turkey will accept foreign assistance to cope with the aftermath of a powerful earthquake, including from Israel. The official says Turkey on Tuesday decided to accept offers from assistance after emergency management authorities declared the country would need prefabricated homes and containers to house survivors. (click here)
Google has set up a Person Finder service in Turkish that allows users to post information on victims and survivors and also to follow up on relatives and friends in the earthquake zone. Click here.
A dormitory believed to house 130 students was destroyed in Erciş province, as was a busy coffeehouse. No one knows how many were in the building when it collapsed. (click here, in Turkish)