At least six people were killed and 202 injured after a strong earthquake in the Aegean Sea hit Turkey, leading to the collapse of about 20 buildings in the Turkish city of Izmir, Reuters reported, citing the country’s disaster management authority. Reports said several people are still trapped under the debris.
The United States Geological Survey put the magnitude at 7.0 for the earthquake, according to AFP. Turkish government’s disaster agency reported a lower magnitude of 6.6, while Greece’s seismological agency said it measured 6.7.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said the quake’s epicentre was the Aegean Sea, at a depth of 16.5 kilometers. The strong earthquake was also felt in the Greek island of Samos. The emergency authority said six people died, one of whom drowned, while 202 people received injuries.
Visuals on social media showed wreckage of several multi-storeyed buildings in Izmir, as people and rescue personnel attempted to rescue them.
Secretary General of the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Bugra Gokce said that multiple houses in the city were damaged due to the tremor, according to Turkish news channel NTV. The country’s media said it was felt across Aegean and Marmara, where the city of Istanbul is situated. However, no damage was reported in Istanbul.
Turkish authorities deployed personnel to aid in the rescue efforts. The country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wished a swift recovery to those affected by the earthquake, adding that his administration has “taken steps to launch necessary efforts in the region”.
Meanwhile, in Greece, residents of Samos and other islands reportedly evacuated their home, reported TRT World. But no injuries were reported from Greece. A tsunami warning was also issued, with Samos residents being asked to stay away from the coast, reported AP. Visuals on social media showed that water rose above the dock in Samos’ main harbour and flooded a street.
Turkey is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. Over 17,000 people were killed in August 1999 when a 7.6-magnitude quake hit Izmit, southeast of Istanbul. In 2011, an earthquake in the eastern city of Van caused 500 deaths.
Visuals from Turkey and Greece: