Published: Sat, January 25, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

At least Four dead in powerful quake in eastern Turkey

At least Four dead in powerful quake in eastern Turkey

An quake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 rocked eastern Turkey on Friday, causing some buildings to collapse, killing at least eight people, injuring more than 300 and leaving several trapped, Turkish officials said.

The US Geological Survey says the magnitude 6.7 tremor struck Elazig province at 8:55 p.m., local time. Television footage showed rescuers searching for survivors among debris.

The powerful quake jolted Eastern Turkey Friday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter that all measures were being taken to "ensure that the quake that occurred in Elazig and was felt in many provinces is overcome with the least amount of loss".

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said four people had died. And the country's flag carrier Turkish Airlines put additional flights for Elazig.

He said the ministers for the interior, health and the environment were sent to the afflicted region.

"We are hoping we will not have more casualties", Soylu was quoted as saying by the Anadolu news agency.

Search and rescue teams have been working through the night.

At another collapsed building, teams worked with their hands to remove bricks and plaster from the ruins.

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At least 15 people have died and more than 500 were injured in eastern Turkey after an natural disaster rattled the region on Friday evening, according to authorities.

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

Ferda, 39, said she felt anxious and desperate. "I panicked and was undecided whether to go out in this cold or remain inside".

The quake struck near the town of Sivrice but was felt in other neighboring countries, including Syria, Georgia, Lebanon and Armenia.

Turkey has a history of powerful earthquakes.

"We stand by our people", Erdogan said on Twitter.

"The Turkish president. said Turkish teams had the situation under control for now and that it would be re-evaluated in the morning", his office added.

Fifteen aftershocks have been felt in the wake, with the strongest registering at 5.4 magnitude, Soylu said. More than 17,000 people were killed in August 1999 when a 7.6 magnitude quake struck the western city of Izmit, 90 km southeast of Istanbul.

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