At least 26 people have died in the earthquake that struck Turkey and Greece on Friday, CNN reported. Over 800 people have been injured in Turkey.
Twenty-four deaths were reported from Turkey’s coastal areas. The two other fatalities were from Greece’s Samos island.
Turkey’s Environment and Urbanisation Minister Murat Kurum told the news channel that as many as 196 aftershocks were recorded after the powerful earthquake. The United States Geological Survey had put the magnitude at 7.0 for the earthquake. Turkish government’s disaster agency, one the other hand, reported a lower magnitude of 6.6.
The earthquake damaged at least 20 buildings in Turkey’s Izmir city alone. Rescuers had to dig through the ruins of the buildings to look for survivors, AFP reported.
Izmir, which has a population of about 30 lakh, saw the most damage. Parts of apartments and people’s belongings were thrown out on the streets by the earthquake.
Videos on social media showed sea water rushing through Izmir. People were heard screaming as the strong current washed away furniture and other household appliances. The earthquake triggered a mini-tsunami in Greece’s Samos island too, according to AFP.
The earthquake led Greece and Turkey to set aside their differences and extend support to each other. Tensions between the two nations had escalated recently over energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean region, according to CNN.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis offered his condolences to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. “I just called President @RTErdogan to offer my condolences for the tragic loss of life from the earthquake that struck both our countries,” he tweeted. “Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together.
Erdogan thanked Mitsotakis and said that his country would also stand with Greece. “I offer my condolences to all of Greece on behalf of myself and the Turkish people,” he tweeted. “Turkey, too, is always ready to help Greece heal its wounds. That two neighbours show solidarity in difficult times is more valuable than many things in life.”