Breaking: Strong earthquake hits Turkey

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The magnitude 6.9 earthquake was felt in neighbouring countries

Jan 24, 2020

January 24, 2020

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An earthquake of magnitude 6.9 struck eastern Turkey on Friday, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said, and Turkish aid organisations said they were sending teams to the area.

The quake shook the Sivrice district in the province of Elazig at around 8.55 pm (1755 GMT), the government's disaster and emergency management agency said.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said no deaths had been reported and that military and civilian rescue teams were on alert.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said there was no news of casualties at the moment.

"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.

The quake struck at a depth of 10km, according to the EMSC.

State media in neighbouring Syria reported the earthquake was felt in several areas of the country. Local media reports indicated the quake had been felt in Tripoli but there were no injuries or deaths.

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

Social media users in Turkey posted videos showing buildings being shaken by the tremor.

Other users posted pictures of badly damaged buildings.

Rescue operations are ongoing in Elazig.

Turkey lies on major faultlines and is prone to earthquakes.

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.

Updated: January 24, 2020 10:51 PM

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