News, Culture & Society

Residents run outdoors for safety as earthquake with 6.8 magnitude shakes eastern Turkey 

A powerful earthquake measuring 6.8 hit eastern Turkey on Friday, leaving at least four people dead and causing buildings to collapse. 

The quake’s epicentre was in Elazig province, about 340 miles east of the capital, Ankara. 

The quake struck at 1755 GMT, 8.55 pm local time at a depth of six miles near the town of Sivrice in the eastern Elazig province, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, or AFAD, said. 

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

Damaged buildings are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Damaged buildings are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

It was followed by several aftershocks, the strongest with magnitudes 5.4 and 5.1. 

The US Geological Survey assessed the quake’s magnitude at 6.7, and said it struck at a depth of about six miles.

‘It was very scary, furniture fell on top of us. We rushed outside,’ 47-year-old Melahat Can, who lives in the city of Elazig, said.

Men stand on rubble of a collapsed building following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey on January 24, 2020, killing several people according to the Turkish interior ministry

Men stand on rubble of a collapsed building following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey on January 24, 2020, killing several people according to the Turkish interior ministry

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

 ‘We will spend the coming days in a farmhouse outside the city,’ she said.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said two of the victims were killed in Elazig province and two others in nearby Malatya province, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.

Earlier, Soylu told NTV television that rescuers were trying to reach survivors after a four- or five-story building collapsed in the town of Maden in Elazig. Around four or five buildings collapsed in Sivrice, where two people were hurt, he said. 

‘We are hoping we will not have more casualties,’ he was quoted as saying by the official Anadolu news agency. 

Pictured: People can be seen gathering outside their homes in eastern Turkey after this evening's earthquake

Pictured: People can be seen gathering outside their homes in eastern Turkey after this evening’s earthquake 

A locator map shows Elazig province in eastern Turkey

A locator map shows Elazig province in eastern Turkey 

Residents evacuate their houses as a precautionary measure in Turkey's eastern Diyarbakir province after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig was also felt in Diyarbakir

Residents evacuate their houses as a precautionary measure in Turkey’s eastern Diyarbakir province after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig was also felt in Diyarbakir

‘Sivrice was shaken very seriously, we have directed our rescue teams to the region,’ he told reporters, adding that there were reports of some collapsed buildings in the region. 

Soylu was at a meeting on earthquake preparedness when the quake struck. 

Local administrator Cuma Telceken said up to seven people are believed to be trapped inside two collapsed buildings in Maden. 

The tremor was felt in several parts of eastern Turkey including Tunceli, the Turkish broadcaster NTV reported, adding that neighbouring cities had mobilised rescue teams for the quake area.

Damaged buildings are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Damaged buildings are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar visits Roketsan, leading Turkish defence company, in Ankara, Turkey on January 22, 2020. Akar said today that the armed forces were on standby to help if they were needed

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar visits Roketsan, leading Turkish defence company, in Ankara, Turkey on January 22, 2020. Akar said today that the armed forces were on standby to help if they were needed

‘We have sent four teams to the quake region,’ Recep Salci of Turkey’s Search and Rescue Association (AKUT) said. ‘We have news of collapsed buildings, and preparing more teams in case of need.’

Zekeriya Gunes, 68, a resident of Elazig city, said a building 200 metres down on his street had collapsed but he did not know whether it was inhabited.

‘Everybody is in the street, it was very powerful, very scary,’ he said.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters that there were no reports of any casualties in Sivrice but said the quake may have caused casualties in rural areas outside the town.  

‘Sivrice was shaken very seriously, we have directed our rescue teams to the region,’ he told reporters, adding that there were reports of some collapsed buildings in the region.

He added that troops were also on standby to assist if required.  

Residents leave their houses after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Residents leave their houses after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Turkey lies on major faultlines and is prone to earthquakes. 

The Kandilli seismology center in Istanbul said the quake measured 6.5.

The US Geological Survey gave the preliminary magnitude as 6.7, with the quake affecting not only Turkey but also Syria, Georgia and Armenia. 

The quake had a depth of 6.2 miles, according to EMSC.

State media in neighbouring Syria reported the earthquake was felt in several areas of the country. 

Local media in Lebanon reported the same in the cities of Beirut and Tripoli. 

A collapsed building is seen following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey on January 24, 2020, killing several people according to the Turkish interior ministry

A collapsed building is seen following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey on January 24, 2020, killing several people according to the Turkish interior ministry

Damaged buildings are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Damaged buildings are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

Damaged buildings in Sursuru neighborhood are seen after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020. Search and rescue teams sent to the region

Residents evacuate their houses in Turkey's eastern Gaziantep province after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig was also felt in Gaziantep

Residents evacuate their houses in Turkey’s eastern Gaziantep province after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig was also felt in Gaziantep

Residents leave their houses after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Residents leave their houses after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Turkish province of Elazig on January 24, 2020

Turkish media said the earthquake sent people running outdoors for safety.

In 1999, a devastating 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit Izmit in western Turkey, leaving more than 17,000 people dead including about 1,000 in the economic capital Istanbul. 

In September, a 5.7-magnitude earthquake shook Istanbul, causing residents to flee buildings in the economic capital.

Experts have long warned a large quake could devastate the city of 15 million people, which has allowed widespread building without safety precautions.

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.