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Severe earthquake hits Turkey's northeast region

A massive earthquake devastated a wide area of northeast Turkey near the city of Erzurum Sunday, killing at least 500 people and flattening buildings in dozens of remote villages in one of the country's poorest regions.

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The Kandilli Observatory in Istanbul said the quake measured more than six on the open-ended Richter scale, one of the severest in the tremor-prone area for several years. Officials said rescue efforts were hampered by landslides from the tremor blocking roads in the region.

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