19 killed, over 700 injured as sturdy earthquake hits Turkey, Greek islands

A powerful earthquake struck the Aegean Sea between the Turkish coast and the Greek island of Samos on Friday, killing no less than 19 folks and injuring over 700 amid collapsed buildings and flooding, information company The Associated Press quoted an official as saying.

According to Reuters, a witness stated that individuals ran onto streets in panic within the Turkish metropolis of Izmir, witnesses stated, after the quake struck with a magnitude of as much as 7.0. A small tsunami additionally struck the Seferihisar district south of Izmir.

Neighbourhoods had been deluged with surging seawater which swept particles inland and left fish stranded because it receded.

Seveteen folks died, one because of drowning, whereas 709 folks had been injured, Reuters quoted Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) as saying.

On the Greek island of Samos two youngsters, a boy and a woman, had been discovered useless in an space the place a wall had collapsed. Among the useless had been the spouse and two kids of the secretary-general of the Turkish Medical Association’s Izmir department, AP reported.

Search and rescue operations continued at 17 collapsed or broken buildings in Izmir, AFAD stated. Authorities had been organising tents with a complete capability of two,000 folks close to areas with the best harm, Urbanisation Minister Murat Kurum stated.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted condolences, saying “Words are too poor to describe what one feels before the loss of children.”

Former US Vice-President Joe Biden additionally, tweeted: “Jill and I send our prayers to the people of Greece and Turkey following today’s earthquake. We’re grateful for the brave rescuers saving others, and for the governments of Greece and Turkey putting aside their differences to support each other.”

Crisscrossed by main fault strains, Turkey is among the many most earthquake-prone international locations on the planet. More than 17,000 folks had been killed in August 1999 when a 7.6 magnitude quake struck Izmit, a metropolis southeast of Istanbul. In 2011, a quake within the jap metropolis of Van killed greater than 500, AP reported.

Video on Twitter confirmed flooding within the Seferihisar district, and Turkish officers and broadcasters known as on folks to remain off the streets after reviews of site visitors congestion. Izmir Mayor Tunc Soyer urged residents to not enter broken buildings and to be aware of social distancing and masks mandates amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rescue employees attempt to save residents trapped within the particles of a collapsed constructing in Izmir on Friday (Photo Credits: AP)

FLOODING

Ismail Yetiskin, mayor of Izmir’s Seferihisar, stated sea ranges rose because of the quake. “There seems to be a small tsunami,” he instructed broadcaster NTV.

Footage on social media confirmed particles together with fridges, chairs and tables floating via streets on the deluge. TRT Haber confirmed automobiles in Izmir’s Seferihisar district had been dragged by the water and piled on high of one another.

Idil Gungor, who runs a resort in Izmir’s Seferihisar district, instructed broadcaster NTV that individuals had been cleansing the particles after the floodwaters receded. She stated fish had washed up on the backyard of the resort, round 50 metres (55 yards) from the shore.

High tidal wave warnings had been in place in Samos, the place eight folks had been additionally injured, based on a Greek official.

“We have never experienced anything like it,” stated George Dionysiou, the native vice-mayor, was quoted by Reuters as saying. “People are panicking.” A Greek police spokesman stated there was harm to some previous buildings on the island.

The leaders of Turkey and Greece – caught up in a bitter dispute over exploration rights within the jap Mediterranean – spoke by telephone and expressed hopes that each international locations would see a speedy restoration from the quake, Turkey’s presidency stated.

Both leaders stated they had been prepared to assist the opposite nation if wanted and emphasised the significance of solidarity.

“Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wrote in a tweet.

“That two neighbours show solidarity in difficult times is more valuable than many things in life,” Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan wrote in a tweet responding to Mistotakis.

Cooperation between the 2 international locations after the devastating 1999 earthquake led to a interval of hotter ties between them.

AFAD put the magnitude of the earthquake at 6.6, whereas the U.S. Geological Survey stated it was 7.0. It was felt alongside Turkey’s Aegean coast and the northwestern Marmara area, media stated.

(With inputs from Reuters, AP)

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