ERCIS, Turkey, Oct 24, 2011 (From AFP) - Rescuers searched Monday for survivors of a powerful earthquake that killed at least 217 people in eastern Turkey, with more feared trapped in the rubble of dozens of collapsed buildings. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rushed to the Kurdish-populated Van province where the 7.2-magnitude quake struck on Monday, and warned the toll could rise as more victims were found in the wreckage of shattered buildings. Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin said that 100 people had died in the city of Van and 117 in Ercis district, with another 1,090 injured in the nation's worst quake in years.He said around 80 multi-storey buildings had collapsed in Ercis, where the damage seems to be worst, Anatolia news agency reported, and residents were still alive under the rubble of 40 collapsed buildings. Turkey's Kandilli seismological institute said the epicentre of the quake, which struck at 1041 GMT Sunday, was at Tabanli in Van province. The US Geological Survey initially measured the quake at 7.3 magnitude but later downgraded it to 7.2. It registered many aftershocks, the latest of which was of 6.0 magnitude. The quake was also felt across the border in northwestern Iran, causing some panic in major cities, Iranian media reported. They did not report any deaths or serious damage. In 1999, two strong quakes in northwest Turkey's heavily populated and industrialised regions left some 20,000 dead. A powerful earthquake in the town of Caldiran in Van province killed 3,840 people in 1976.