ISTANBUL-The death toll from a strong earthquake that rocked eastern Turkey climbed to 29 on Saturday night as rescue crews searched for people who remained trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings, officials said.

Speaking at a televised news conference, Interior Minister SuleymanSoylu said earlier in the day that 18 people were killed in Elazig province, where Friday night’s quake was centered, and four in neighboring Malatya. The national disaster agency later updated the total with seven more casualties.

Some 1,243 people were injured, with 34 of them in intensive care but not in critical condition, Health Minister FahrettinKoca said.

On Saturday afternoon, Turkish President RecepTayyipErdogan visited the hardest-hit areas and attended the funeral of a mother and son killed in the quake. He warned people against repeating “negative” hearsay about the country being unprepared for earthquakes.

“Do not listen to rumors, do not listen to anyone’s negative, contrary propaganda, and know that we are your servants,” Erdogan said.

It was followed by 398 aftershocks, the strongest of them with magnitudes 5.4 and 5.1, the disaster agency said.

Emergency workers and security forces distributed tents, beds and blankets as overnight temperatures dropped below freezing in the affected areas. Mosques, schools, sports halls and student dormitories were opened for hundreds who left their homes after the quake.

“The earthquake was very severe. We desperately ran out (of our home),” EmreGocer told the state-run Anadolu news agency as he sheltered with his family at a sports hall in Sivrice. “We don’t have a safe place to stay right now.”

While visiting Sivrice and the city of Elazig, the provincial capital located some 565 kilometers (350 miles) east of Ankara, Erdogan promised state support for those affected by the disaster.

“We will not leave anyone in the open,” the Turkish leader.

Earlier, a prosecutor in the capital Ankara announced an investigation into “provocative” social media posts. The Anadolu news agency reported that Turkey’s broadcasting authority was also reviewing media coverage of the quake.

At least five buildings in Sivrice and 25 in Malatya province were destroyed in the disaster, Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum said. Hundreds of other structures were damaged and made unsafe. AFAD reported that 42 people had been rescued as search teams combed wrecked apartment buildings.