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Powerful 6.6 magnitude earthquake hits Turkey and Greek islands

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Powerful 6.6-magnitude earthquake destroys buildings in Turkey and sends people fleeing from their homes on Greek islands

  • At least six buildings collapsed in the Turkish city of Izmir after the earthquake struck in the Aegean Sea today
  • Walls crumbled and buildings were damaged on the Greek island of Samos where people fled their homes
  • Turkish disaster management officials said the earthquake was centred 10.3 miles deep in the Aegean 

By Tim Stickings For Mailonline

Published: | Updated:

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Turkey and Greece were battered by a 6.6-magnitude earthquake today that destroyed buildings in Turkey, sent people fleeing from their homes on the Greek islands and brought water rushing inland in both countries.

Debris was racing down flooded streets after the earthquake while boats were carried out to sea in Turkey, and there was flooding on the Greek island of Samos after a mini-tsunami which followed the earthquake. 

Turkish media said at least six buildings were destroyed in Izmir with three people rescued from under the rubble, as footage showed people climbing over the debris of wrecked multi-storey buildings in the city.

The tremor was also felt in Athens and on Greek islands including Crete, while the deputy mayor of Samos said that ‘the walls of some houses have crumbled and several buildings are damaged’.  

A destroyed building in Izmir, Turkey, after the 6.6-magnitude earthquake in the Aegean today

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the quake had an epicentre eight miles from of the Greek island of Samos

The rubble of a building is heaped on the ground after it collapsed during the Aegean earthquake on Friday 

Debris was floating along streets in high waters after the earthquake triggered a ‘mini-tsunami’ in Turkey and Greece

Smoke over the city of Izmir which appeared to have taken the heaviest damage of the earthquake on the Turkish side 

People look at the rubble of a building in Izmir after the earthquake struck on Friday 

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said Friday’s earthquake was centred in the Aegean at a depth of 10.3 miles. 

Turkey’s interior minister Suleyman Soylu said six buildings had collapsed in two parts of Izmir, while mayor Tunc Soyer said nearly 20 buildings had collapsed in the province.  

Soylu said there were no reports of casualties from six other provinces where the earthquake was felt but added there were small cracks in some buildings.

Turkish media said the earthquake was felt across the regions of Aegean and Marmara, where Istanbul is located. However, Istanbul’s governor said there were no reports of damage. 

Ilke Cide, a doctoral student who was in Izmir’s Guzelbahce region during the earthquake, said he went inland after waters rose after the earthquake. ‘I am very used to earthquakes… so I didn’t take it very seriously at first but this time it was really scary,’ he said, adding the earthquake had lasted for at least 25 to30 seconds.

Smoke was blowing over several spots in Izmir, while debris was floating along the streets in high waters in the town of Seferihisar.  

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that ‘with all the means of our state, we stand by our citizens affected by the earthquake’. ‘We have taken action to start the necessary work in the region with all our relevant institutions and ministers,’ he said.  

Boats were carried out from a harbour in Turkey (left) where debris was also seen floating along flooded streets (right)

Damaged buildings in Turkey where the earthquake destroyed at least six buildings

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the quake had an epicentre eight miles from Samos.

Samos’s 45,000 people were urged to stay away from coastal areas, Greece’s top seismologist Eftyhmis Lekkas told Skai TV.  ‘It was a very big earthquake, it’s difficult to have a bigger one,’ said Lekkas, adding that ‘a tsunami cannot be ruled out.

A tsunami warning was issued, with residents of the Samos area told to stay away from the coast. Water rose above the dock in the main harbour of Samos and flooded the street. 

People rushed into the streets on Samos and other islands following the tremor, which Greek officials put at magnitude 6.6 and the US Geological Survey at 7.0. 

‘We have never experienced anything like it,’ said George Dionysiou, the local vice-mayor. ‘People are panicking.’ Police said there was damage to some old buildings on the island, with no immediate reports of injuries. 

Turkey is on the 14-day quarantine list for British tourists, while Greece and most of its islands including Samos are on the approved list for travellers from England, with Scotland and Wales applying their own rules. 

Both countries reported aftershocks.

A person receives treatment after feeling faint following the 6.6-magnitude earthquake on Turkey’s Aegean Sea cost today 

People stand outside their homes in Izmir today following the earthquake that left people trapped under rubble 

The sun shines over a heap of rubble as people begin the clean-up operation in Izmir on Friday afternoon 

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