ISTANBUL: A strong earthquake struck on Friday between the Turkish coast and the Greek island of Samos, collapsing several buildings in Turkeys western Izmir province and leaving at least four people dead.
Dozens more were injured, while some damage to buildings and the road network, and four light injuries were also reported on Samos.
Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted that four people were killed in Izmir and 120 were injured. He said 38 ambulances, two ambulance helicopters and 35 medical rescue teams were working in Izmir.
People flooded to the streets in the Turkish coastal city of Izmir after the earthquake struck, witnesses said
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) put the magnitude of the earthquake at 6.6, while the United States Geological Survey said it was 7.0. It struck at around 1150 GMT and was felt along Turkey’s Aegean coast and the northwestern Marmara region, media said.
The epicentre was some 17 kilometres off the coast of the Izmir province, at a depth of 16 km, AFAD said. The US Geological Survey said the depth was 10 km and that the epicentre was 33.5km off Turkey’s coast.
Residents of Samos, an island with a population of about 45,000, were urged to stay away from coastal areas, Eftyhmios Lekkas, head of Greece’s organisation for anti-seismic planning, told Greece’s Skai TV.
“It was a very big earthquake, it’s difficult to have a bigger one,” said Lekkas.
Ali Yerlikaya, the governor of Istanbul, where the quake was also felt, said there were no negative reports.