Four dead after Izmir and Samos hit by 7.0 magnitude quake and flooding

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An earthquake has struck parts of Turkey and Greece, injuring hundreds of people and causing at least four casualties as buildings collapsed.

The quake struck on Friday afternoon in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey’s Izmir province, causing chaos in the region and the nearby Greek island of Samos.

According to Turkish authorities, at least four people have been killed in Izmir and 120 injured, as the quake caused buildings to collapse and blocked roads.

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A tsunami warning was issued after the quake struck, with residents posting clips of flood waters surging through the streets in parts of Izmir.

Rescue efforts

Turkey’s health minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted that 38 ambulances, two ambulance helicopters and 35 medical rescue teams had been deployed to the area, adding: “We stand by the people of Izmir with all our support. Sorry for your loss.”

People are seen among debris of collapsed buildings after a magnitude 6.6 quake shook Turkey’s Aegean Sea coast, in Izmir (Photo: Mehmet Emin Menguarslan/Anadolu Agency via Getty)

Around 4.5 million people live in the province, which is home to Turkey’s third-largest city, also called Izmir.

The city’s mayor Tunc Soyer told CNN that about 20 buildings had collapsed. Rescue efforts are underway to help those trapped in the rubble, officials said, with the public urged to stay off of the streets if they are in a safe place.

The earthquake was measured as between 6.6 and 7.0 on the Richter scale, according to preliminary readings.

Flooding

Videos posted on Twitter showed flooding in Izmir’s Seferhisar district, while Turkish media showed wreckage of buildings in central Izmir, with people climbing the rubble to start rescue efforts.

On the Greek island of Samos, home to 32,000 people, residents were told to stay away from the coastline as water flooded streets around the island’s main harbour.

The public were also urged to stay away from buildings, as aftershocks continued to rattle the area and cause destruction.

A destroyed car and collapsed buildings after an earthquake in the island of Samos on October 30, 2020 (Photo: Eurokinissi/AFP via Getty)

The powerful quake was felt as far away as the Greek capital of Athens, 270 miles away.

Earthquakes are not uncommon in Turkey. The devastating 1999 Izmit earthquake killed at least 17,000 people and destroyed around 20,000 buildings when it hit the Turkish mainland. 600 people were also killed when a quake hit Van province in 2011.

Additional reporting by agencies