At least 4 dead as magnitude 6.8 quake rocks eastern Turkey

January 24, 2020 - 2:45 pm

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 rocked eastern Turkey on Friday, causing some buildings to collapse and killing at least four people, Turkish officials said.

The quake struck at 1755 GMT, 8:55 p.m. local time at a depth of 6.7 kilometers near the town of Sivrice in the eastern Elazig province, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, or AFAD, said. It was followed by several aftershocks, the strongest with magnitudes 5.4 and 5.1.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said two of the victims were killed in Elazig province and two others in nearby Malatya province, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.

Earlier, Soylu told NTV television that rescuers were trying to reach survivors after a four- or five-story building collapsed in the town of Maden in Elazig. Around 4-5 buildings collapsed in Sivrice, where two people were hurt, he said.

Local administrator Cuma Telceken said up to seven people are believed to be trapped inside two collapsed buildings in Maden.

Soylu was at a meeting on earthquake preparedness when the quake struck.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said troops were on standby to help is they are needed

The Kandilli seismology center in Istanbul said the quake measured 6.5., while the U.S. Geological Survey gave the preliminary magnitude as 6.7, and said the quake affected not only Turkey but also Syria, Georgia and Armenia.

Different earthquake monitoring centers frequently give differing estimates.

NTV said the earthquake was felt in several Turkish provinces and sent people running outdoors in panic.

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