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26 dead as powerful earthquake jolts Turkey, Greece

31 Oct 2020 11:57, Somoy English Desk
26 dead as powerful earthquake jolts Turkey, Greece
26 dead as powerful earthquake jolts Turkey, Greece

At least 26 people were killed in Turkey and Greece when a powerful earthquake hit the Aegean Sea on Friday afternoon, sending buildings crashing down and triggering what authorities have called a "mini tsunami."

Officials said 24 people were killed in coastal areas in Turkey's west, while two teenagers -- a boy and a girl -- died on the Greek island of Samos after a wall collapsed on them.

In Turkey, at least 20 buildings in the city of Izmir alone were destroyed, Mayor Tunc Soyer told CNN Turk. Images showed vehicles crushed under the buildings and people digging through the rubble in search of survivors.

At least 804 people have been injured in Turkey, said the country's disaster agency. Dozens were saved by rescue teams using diggers and helicopters to search for survivors, reports CNN. 

A total of 196 aftershocks have been recorded, 23 of which were over 4.0 magnitude, the agency added. Search and rescue operations continue in 17 buildings, four of which have collapsed, said Murat Kurum, Turkey's Environment and Urbanization Minister.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that among Turkey's injured, five people are being operated on and eight are in intensive care

TV footage showed water flooding through the streets of Cesme and Seferihisar in parts of Turkey's wider Izmir province, as well as on the Greek island of Samos, in what officials described as a "mini tsunami." No tsunami warnings were issued.

Idil Gungor, who works as a journalist and runs a guesthouse in the Turkish town of Si─čacik in Izmir province, said that the area was damaged more by the force of the water than the quake itself. 

Her guesthouse, in a 100-year-old building, had been inundated and fish were swimming inside it, she said. Shops in town have also been flooded and their goods damaged."Everybody is calm but shocked and we're wondering what will happen, if there's a second tsunami coming or not," Gungor said.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the tremor's magnitude at 7.0, while Turkish authorities said it was 6.6. The quake struck 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) northeast of the town of Néon Karlovásion on Samos, the USGS reported, at 1:51 pm Greek time (7:51a.m. ET).

But it hit at a relatively shallow depth of 21 kilometers (13 miles), the USGS reported, making its impact powerfully felt at ground level around the epicenter.

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