Two teenagers were killed on the Greek island of Samos on Friday and at least 19 others were injured.
Ahmet Citim, 70, was rescued from the rubble shortly after midnight on Sunday and taken to hospital. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted that the man said: “I never gave up hope.”
In total, 682 victims were discharged from hospitals and 214 are still in treatment. There were 850 aftershocks, with 40 recording magnitudes greater than 4.0, the Turkish disaster and emergency agency AFAD said.
Erdogan was in Izmir to monitor the rescue efforts.
Al Jazeera’s Sinem Koseoglu, reporting from Izmir, said 20 poorly constructed buildings had completely collapsed.
“Rescuers try to hear a signal of life from survivors under the debris. They say around 40 people were trapped under the rubble but some were rescued and others died. The more time passes, the less chance there is of finding victims, ”she said.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said 26 badly damaged buildings would be demolished. “It is not the earthquake that kills but buildings,” he added, repeating a common slogan.
Turkey has a mix of old buildings and cheap or illegal constructions, which can lead to serious damage and death in the event of an earthquake. Regulations have been tightened in the light of earthquakes to reinforce or demolish buildings and urban renewal is underway in Turkish cities, but it is not happening fast enough.
Turkey’s justice minister said prosecutors have started investigating several collapsed buildings and promised legal repercussions if experts identify negligence.
Friday’s earthquake, which the US Geological Survey said had a magnitude of 7.0, was centered in the northeastern Aegean Sea of the island of Samos. AFAD said it struck at a depth of about 16 km (10 miles).
A small tsunami struck in the Seferihisar district of Izmir, drowning an elderly woman, and on the Greek island.
The tremors were felt in western Turkey, including Istanbul, as well as the Greek capital, Athens. Hundreds of aftershocks followed.
Search and rescue teams continued to work in nine buildings in Izmir as the third day dawned.
On Saturday, a mother and three of her children were taken to safety after being jailed for nearly 18 hours under a building in Izmir that had been razed by the earthquake.
One of the children later died of his injuries in hospital, Koca told reporters.
Rescuers continued their efforts to free the woman’s fourth child.
Turkey is crossed by fault lines and is prone to earthquakes. In 1999, two powerful earthquakes killed some 18,000 people in northwestern Turkey. Earthquakes are also common in Greece.
The earthquake came as Turkey was already grappling with an economic recession and the coronavirus pandemic. So far, more than 10,000 people infected with the virus have died in Turkey.