As of late Monday, 279 people had been confirmed dead and 1,300 injured after nearly a thousand buildings either collapsed or were severely damaged in Sunday's quake, according to Turkey's emergency agency AFAD. Local officials said the number of dead was certain to climb.

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People watched a crane digging through rubble as rescuers worked to salvage people from a collapsed building in Van, eastern Turkey, on Monday.

The most-damaged areas were the cities of Van and Ercis and nearby villages in the region near the Iran border. Earthquake teams in Ercis, the worst-hit town, said the effort was one of the most organized responses the country has seen. Turkey declined offers of international help—including from estranged ally Israel—other than from fellow Turkic-speaking Azerbaijan.

Along the main thoroughfare of Ercis, a town of some 80,000 people, every third or fourth apartment building had collapsed into a mass of concrete in the wake of the 7.2 magnitude quake, which struck at 1:41 p.m. Sunday.
More here: Turkey's Quake Survivors Hope for Shelter, Rescue -