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Turkey: Search, rescue efforts continue after earthquake

Turkey: Search, rescue efforts continue after earthquake
20 killed, more than 780 injured when magnitude-6.6 quake jolts Izmir on Turkish Aegean

By Jeyhun Aliyev

ANKARA (AA) - Twenty people were killed and at least 786 injured when a magnitude-6.6 earthquake jolted Izmir on the Turkish Aegean on Friday, the Disaster Management Agency Authority (AFAD) said early Saturday.

At least 725 were injured in Izmir, and in neighboring provinces, five in Manisa, two in Balikesir and 54 in Aydin.

At least 244 aftershocks, with 24 more powerful than magnitude-4.0 were recorded, according to AFAD.

Search and rescue operations have been completed in four buildings in Izmir -- Turkey’s third-largest city -- while work continues in 13 others.

AFAD said the quake occurred at 2.51 p.m. local time (1151GMT) at a depth of 16.54 kilometers (10 miles).

It said one of the fatalities was a result of drowning.

Izmir Governor Yavuz Selim Kosger said the quake triggered a partial tsunami in the coastal district of Seferihisar, which left at least one person injured.

More than 450 vehicles and over 3,200 rescue workers, along with the 20 sniffer dogs, were dispatched to the scene.

The Turkish Red Crescent also sent 79 staffers, 70 volunteers, 17 vehicles and five mobile field kitchens with a capacity to serve more than 25,000 people.

Also, 960 disaster tents, 4,500 blankets, 3,672 beds were sent to the region, according to AFAD.

Five million Turkish liras ($600,000) was sent to the region by the Family, Labor and Social Services Ministry, and 3 million liras ($360,000) was provided by AFAD.

The agency said another earthquake, magnitude-5.1, hit the Aegean Sea, 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) off the Kusadasi district of Turkey's Aydin province.

- Defense Ministry crisis desk

The National Defense Ministry established a crisis desk and two military helicopters are taking part in search and rescue efforts.

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said the quake was also felt in his city, 328 kilometers (204 miles) north of Izmir, but the metropolis did not suffer any damage.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said several neighboring provinces, including Usak, Denizli, Manisa, Balikesir, Aydin and Mugla, sustained minor damages to several buildings.

Adil Karaismailoglu, the transportation and infrastructure minister, said there were no problems in transportation or communication.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said ministry teams were directed to the region to avoid problems with energy supplies.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed solidarity and said Turkey stands by its "citizens affected by the earthquake."

"We took action to start the necessary work in the region with all our relevant institutions and ministers," he added.

Turkey's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun conveyed condolences to the families and friends of those killed.

"We pray that there is no further loss of life in Turkey or Greece and we send our best wishes to all those affected on both sides of the earthquake," he said on Twitter.

Altun added that Turkey is ready to help Greece if needed.

The National Observatory of Athens’ Institute of Geodynamics initially put the magnitude of the quake at 6.6 but later revised it to 6.7.

It struck northwest of the Greek island of Samos in the Aegean Sea, said the observatory.

Two children were reported killed on Samos.

source: News Feed
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