The 7.2-magnitude earthquake on Sunday morning particularly hit Ercis and Van, cities in a mountainous region near Turkey’s border with Iran.

At least 270 people have been confirmed dead and hundreds more are reportedly missing after the 7.2 magnitude quake struck near the city of Van and the town of Ercis, close to the Iranian border.

Rescue teams, aided by soldiers, spent the night in near-freezing temperatures digging through the remains of dozens of collapsed multi-storey buildings. At least 80 fell in Ercis, fuelling suspicions that, as with previous Turkish quakes, shoddy construction standards could greatly add to the death toll. As reported about 40 buildings in Ercis still had people trapped beneath rubble.