A strong quake struck the Turkish Aegean coast and north of the Greek island of Samos on Friday, killing at least 25 people.
Rescue teams plowed through concrete blocks and the rubble of eight collapsed buildings on Saturday to search for survivors of a powerful earthquake that struck Turkey’s Aegean coast and north of the Greek island of Samos on Friday, killing at least 25 people.
More than 800 people were injured in the quake that toppled the building in Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city, and triggered a small tsunami in the Seferihisar district and on Samos.
According to the Turkish Presidency for Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD), the quake was followed by more than 400 aftershocks.
Early Saturday, spectators cheered as rescuers lifted a teenage boy from the rubble of a destroyed eight-story apartment building.
Friends and relatives waited outside the building for messages from relatives who were still trapped, including staff from a dental practice on the ground floor.
Two other women were rescued from another collapsed two-story building.
A woman was rescued from the rubble this morning after yesterday’s earthquake in #izmir.
Search and rescue efforts will continue with 4,419 search and rescue workers, 20 K9 dogs and 475 vehicles from AFAD, JAK, NGOs and municipalities. pic.twitter.com/rtZx989VzV
– AFAD (@AFADTurkey) October 31, 2020
AFAD reported that at least 24 people were killed in Izmir, including an elderly woman who drowned.
Two teenagers were killed in Samos after being hit by a collapsing wall. At least 19 people were injured on the island, two of whom, including a 14-year-old, were flown to Athens and seven were hospitalized on the island, health officials said.
The small tsunami on the Turkish coast also hit Samos. In the capital city of Vathi, sea water flooded streets.
Authorities warned people to stay away from the coast and potentially damaged buildings.
The earthquake, which the Kandilli Institute said was 6.9 magnitude, occurred in Turkey at 2:15 p.m. (11:51 p.m. GMT). Its epicenter was in the Aegean Sea northeast of Samos.
The powerful earthquake that struck Turkey and Greece leveled buildings and caused a sea flood to flood streets near the Turkish spa town of Izmir [Ozan Kose/AFP]On Friday, Izmir Mayor Tunc Soyer told CNN Turk that around 20 buildings had collapsed. The Turkish interior minister tweeted that six buildings in Izmir had been destroyed. Izmir Governor Yavuz Selim Kosger said at least 70 people were rescued from the rubble.
Al Jazeeras Sinem Koseoglu, from Izmir, said the situation across the district was chaotic as rescue workers continued to search for missing people under the rubble.
“Around 100 people have been rescued across Izmir so far,” said Koseoglu, adding that many people are still waiting for missing family members.
The effect was felt on the eastern Greek islands as well as in Athens and Bulgaria.
In Turkey, it rocked the Aegean and Marmara regions, including Istanbul.
Istanbul Governor said there were no reports of damage in the city.
Authorities warned Izmir residents not to return to damaged buildings, saying they could collapse in strong aftershocks.
On Samos, an island with around 45,000 inhabitants, residents were urged to stay away from the coastal areas.
In a rare show of solidarity after strained bilateral relations, Greek and Turkish government officials issued mutual solidarity messages while the presidents of Greece and Turkey held a phone call.
Relations between Turkey and Greece were strained as warships from both countries in the Eastern Mediterranean found themselves in a dispute over sea borders and energy exploration rights.
The ongoing tensions have raised fears of an open conflict between the two neighbors and NATO allies.
Turkey is criss-crossed by extensive fault lines and is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.
More than 17,000 people were killed in August 1999 when a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Izmit, a city southeast of Istanbul.
In 2011, more than 500 people were killed in an earthquake in the eastern city of Van.