Powerful 6.6-magnitude earthquake destroys buildings in Turkey and sends people fleeing from their homes on Greek islands
- At least six buildings collapsed in the Turkish city of Izmir after the earthquake struck in the Aegean Sea today
- Walls crumbled and buildings were damaged on the Greek island of Samos where people fled their homes
- Turkish disaster management officials said the earthquake was centred 10.3 miles deep in the Aegean
Turkey and Greece were battered by a 6.6-magnitude earthquake today that destroyed buildings in Turkey, and sent people fleeing from their homes on the Greek islands and brought water rushing inland in both countries.
Debris was racing down streets in high waters while boats were carried out to sea in Turkey, and there was flooding on the Greek island of Samos after a ‘mini-tsunami’ which followed the earthquake.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said Friday’s earthquake was centred in the Aegean at a depth of 10.3 miles.
Turkish media said at least six buildings were destroyed in Izmir and footage showed people climbing over the debris of wrecked buildings in the city, with one minister saying that people were trapped under the wreckage.
A destroyed building in Izmir, Turkey, after the 6.6-magnitude earthquake in the Aegean today
The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the quake had an epicentre eight miles from of the Greek island of Samos
The rubble of a building is heaped on the ground after it collapsed during the Aegean earthquake on Friday
Smoke over the city of Izmir which appeared to have taken the heaviest damage of the earthquake on the Turkish side
People look at the rubble of a building in Izmir after the earthquake struck on Friday
Debris was floating along streets in high waters after the earthquake triggered a ‘mini-tsunami’ in Turkey and Greece
The tremor was also felt in Athens and on Greek islands including Crete, while the deputy mayor of Samos said that ‘the walls of some houses have crumbled and several buildings are damaged’.
The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the quake had an epicentre eight miles from Samos.
Samos’s 45,000 people were urged to stay away from coastal areas, Greece’s top seismologist Eftyhmis Lekkas told Skai TV. ‘It was a very big earthquake, it’s difficult to have a bigger one,’ said Lekkas, adding that ‘a tsunami cannot be ruled out.
A tsunami warning was issued, with residents of the Samos area told to stay away from the coast. Water rose above the dock in the main harbour of Samos and flooded the street.
People rushed into the streets on Samos and other islands following the tremor, which Greek officials put at magnitude 6.6 and the US Geological Survey at 7.0.
In Turkey, pictures showed the wreckage of a multiple-storey building in Izmir, with people climbing it to reach rescuers. Turkey’s environment minister said people were trapped under at least five buildings.
Smoke was blowing over several spots in Izmir, while debris was floating along the streets in high waters in the town of Seferihisar.
Turkish media said the earthquake was felt across the regions of Aegean and Marmara, where Istanbul is located. However, Istanbul’s governor said there were no reports of damage.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that ‘with all the means of our state, we stand by our citizens affected by the earthquake’. ‘We have taken action to start the necessary work in the region with all our relevant institutions and ministers,’ he said.
Turkey is on the 14-day quarantine list for British tourists, while Greece and most of its islands including Samos are on the approved list for travellers from England, with Scotland and Wales applying their own rules.
Both countries reported aftershocks.
Boats were carried out from a harbour in Turkey (left) where debris was also seen floating along flooded streets (right)
Damaged buildings in Turkey where the earthquake destroyed at least six buildings
A person receives treatment after feeling faint following the 6.6-magnitude earthquake on Turkey’s Aegean Sea cost today
The sun shines over a heap of rubble as people begin the clean-up operation in Izmir on Friday afternoon