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Thames Water sends team to Turkey

THAMES WATER has rushed a team of engineers to Turkey to assess the condition of a new water supply scheme after an earthquake rocked the country on Tuesday.

The £563M Izmit Water Supply Project, which opened in January, was at the epicentre of the earthquake which measured 6.7 on the Richter scale. Thames Water has a 15-year contract to run the scheme, which serves the 1M population industrial town of Izmit.

Engineers will inspect a 108m high, 400m wide earth dam, 133km of pipeline and a water treatment plant.

A spokeswoman for the water company said on Tuesday: 'The plant was seismically designed because it is in a known earthquake zone and the early indications are that it survived the earthquake intact. Our immediate concern is to keep the plant running,' Water supplies were operating on emergency generators at 60% capacity after power lines were cut.

The Izmit region was the worst affected by the earthquake, which destroyed hundreds of buildings and had claimed 1,100 lives by Tuesday evening. Ten passengers were killed and 25 injured when a viaduct on the main Arifiye to Sakarya road fell on the bus they were travelling in. A government owned oil refinery in the city was also set ablaze by the earthquake.

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