Strong Aegean Sea earthquake topples buildings in Turkey

Strong Aegean Sea earthquake topples buildings in Turkey
People work on a collapsed building, in Izmir, Turkey, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, after a strong earthquake in the Aegean Sea has shaken Turkey and Greece. Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said Friday’s earthquake was centered in the Aegean at a depth of 16.5 kilometers (10.3 miles) and registered at a 6.6 magnitude.(DHA via AP)

A strong earthquake in the Aegean Sea has shaken Turkey and Greece.

Several buildings were wrecked in Turkey’s western Izmir province, according to officials, but there was no immediate information on casualties.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said Friday’s earthquake was centred in the Aegean at a depth of 16.5 kilometres and registered at 6.6 magnitude.

The emergency authority said it had sent search and rescue teams to Izmir.

People stand outside their homes in Izmir (Ismail Gokmen/AP)

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.9, with an epicentre 13 kilometres north-north-east of the Greek island of Samos.

The United States Geological Survey put the magnitude at 7.0.

Turkish media showed wreckage of a multiple-storey building in central Izmir, with people climbing it to start rescue efforts.

At least one woman was pictured being helped from the rubble of a collapsed building, and smoke was filmed in several spots in central Izmir.

Izmir mayor Tunc Soyer told CNN Turk that about 20 buildings collapsed. The city is the third biggest in Turkey with about 4.5 million residents.

Turkey’s interior minister tweeted that six buildings in the city had been destroyed, and there were small cracks in buildings in six other provinces.

At least six buildings were levelled in Izmir (Ismail Gokmen/AP)

Izmir’s governor said there was no immediate information on casualties.

Turkish media said the quake was felt across the regions of Aegean and Marmara, including Istanbul. Istanbul’s governor said there were no reports of damage in the city.

The quake was felt across the eastern Greek islands and even in the capital Athens. Greek media said the residents of Samos and other islands fled their homes, while some rockfalls were reported. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Turkey and Greece reported aftershocks, and the quake was also felt in Bulgaria.

Greek seismologist Efthymios Lekkas told Greek state television ERT that it was still too early to say whether this was the main earthquake, although he said it was likely.

“It is an event that is evolving,” Mr Lekkas said, adding that some damage had been reported in parts of Samos.

A tsunami warning was issued, with residents of the Samos area told to stay away from the coast. Water rose above the dock in the main harbour of Samos and flooded the street.

The regional governor of the Samos region, Yiannis Stamoulis, said no injuries had been reported on the island. Residents were told to stay away from buildings as aftershocks rattled the area.

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