Breaking: Four killed as strong earthquake hits Turkey

Breaking: Four killed as strong earthquake hits Turkey
Breaking: Four killed as strong earthquake hits Turkey

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - At least four people were killed when an earthquake of magnitude 6.9 struck eastern Turkey on Friday, the country's interior minister said.

"We are hoping we will not have more casualties. So far, four died," Suleyman Soylu was quoted as saying by the official Anadolu news agency.

"Sivrice was shaken very seriously, we have directed our rescue teams to the region," he added.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said the earthquake shook the Sivrice district in the province of Elazig at around 8.55pm local time (1755 GMT), and Turkish aid organisations also said they were sending teams to the area.

The Turkish Red Crescent called on residents of Elazig to give blood following the earthquake, as local media reports suggested dozens of people in the province were injured, including some who were forced to leap from balconies to escape damaged buildings.

The quake struck at a depth of 10km, according to the EMSC. It was followed by several aftershocks, the strongest with magnitudes 5.4 and 5.1.

He added that there were reports of some collapsed buildings in the region.

The quake's epicentre was in Elazig province, about 550 km (340 miles) east of the capital, Ankara.

State media in neighbouring Syria and Iran both reported the earthquake was felt in those countries. Local media in Lebanon said the cities of Beirut and Tripoli also felt the quake.

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 11:59 PM

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