UPDATES WITH MORE INFO, EDITS THROUGHOUT
By Gozde Bayar
ANKARA (AA) – A powerful earthquake struck the Turkish metropolis Istanbul on Thursday, according to Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).
AFAD said a 5.8-magnitude earthquake centered in the Sea of Marmara hit at 1.59 p.m. (1059GMT).
The earthquake, off Silivri district, occurred at a depth of 6.99 kilometers (4.3 miles), some 22 km (13.6 mi) from Silivri.
The region was also shaken by aftershocks.
A 3.6-magnitude earthquake also shook Istanbul earlier today, at 10.32 a.m. (0732GMT), said AFAD. The epicenter of the quake was the Sea of Marmara.
On Tuesday, a 4.6-magnitude earthquake also hit off Silivri, according to AFAD.
In addition to Istanbul, Turkey's most populous city, the earthquake was also felt in nearby urban areas such as Kocaeli, Sakarya, Tekirdag, Edirne and Kirklareli.
Kocaeli Governor Huseyin Aksoy and AFAD officials in Sakarya told Anadolu Agency that no negative outcome of the quake has been reported so far.
The Istanbul Governorship said primary and secondary schools have been temporarily suspended today due to the quake, while there are no reports of damage as yet.
Aftershocks could create an energy which will break the earth’s crust, Kerem Kinik, Turkish Red Crescent head, said on Twitter.
Kinik urged citizens to leave their houses which were damaged and risky to stay in. The buildings established before 1999 faces a risk of demolition, he warned.