Four dead and 120 injured after 6.7 magnitude earthquake destroys houses in Greece and Turkey

Agence France-Presse
·3-min read
Buildings in Izmir, Turkey, were leveled by the earthquake - Anadolu Agency /Anadolu 
Buildings in Izmir, Turkey, were leveled by the earthquake - Anadolu Agency /Anadolu

At least four people were killed and 120 injured Friday in Turkey when a powerful earthquake struck the country's western coast and parts of Greece. 

"Unfortunately, four of our citizens lost their lives in the earthquake" that destroyed buildings in Turkey's coastal resort city of Izmir, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted.

The US Geological Survey said the 6.7 magnitude earthquake was registered 14 kilometres (8.6 miles) off the Greek town of Neon Karlovasion on the Aegean Sea island of Samos.

Public television in Greece reported a mini-tsunami hit Samos as a result of the quake, causing damage to some buildings.

A map from the US Geological Survey (USGS) shows an intensity shake map of a 6.7-magnitude earthquake that has hit near Neon Karlovasion, Greece - USGS HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock
A map from the US Geological Survey (USGS) shows an intensity shake map of a 6.7-magnitude earthquake that has hit near Neon Karlovasion, Greece - USGS HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock

The Turkish government's disaster agency AFAD reported a lower magnitude of 6.6 for the quake, which struck at a depth of 16.5 kilometres.

"So far, we have received information about six collapsed buildings" in Izmir province, which includes the city, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Twitter.

"Some of our fellow citizens are stuck in the rubble," said Environment Minister Murat Kurum, adding that he knew of five collapsed buildings.

Images on social media showed water rushing through the streets of Izmir from an apparent sea surge.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted that he was ready to help "with all the means available to our state".

Turkey is situated in one of the world's most active earthquake zones.

In 1999, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey's northwest, killing more than 17,000 people, including 1,000 in Istanbul.

Another quake in 2011 in the southeastern province of Van resulted in more than 600 deaths.

A view of a quake damaged site right after a magnitude 6.6 quake shaking Turkey's Aegean Sea coast - Anadolu Agency /Anadolu  
A view of a quake damaged site right after a magnitude 6.6 quake shaking Turkey's Aegean Sea coast - Anadolu Agency /Anadolu

The quake was felt on the island of Crete and in capital of Athens, but there were no immediate reports of Greek victims according to local media.

"The walls of some houses have crumbled and several buildings are damaged," the deputy mayor of Samos, Michalis Mitsios, was quoted as saying by public broadcaster ERT.

The station said people in Samos rushed into the streets after the quake struck.

The quake caused the walls of several homes to collapse and triggered flooding in the port of Samos, according to images broadcast by the station.

People stand outside their homes in Izmir - Ismail Gokmen /AP
People stand outside their homes in Izmir - Ismail Gokmen /AP

"A tsunami cannot be ruled out," said Greek seismologist Efthymis Lekkas.

The observatory had initially given the quake a magnitude of 6.6 but later revised it to 6.7.