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At least 20 dead, more than 1,015 injured – Turkey earthquake

(Last Updated On: January 25, 2020)

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 has shaken eastern Turkey, Friday evening, killing at least 20 people, injuring more than 1,015, causing buildings to collapse, and leaving several trapped, Turkish news agencies reported.

According to a Turkish, Anadolu Agency, the earthquake hits the town of Sivrice, in eastern Elazig province at 8.55 p.m. local time, with its epicentre in Sivrice district, along with neighbouring provinces.

However, 20 dead and more than 1015 injured were reported but the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said 922 others were injured; 560 in Elazig, 226 in Malatya, 37 in Kahramanmaras, 34 in Sanliurfa, 34 in Diyarbakir, 25 in Adiyaman, 6 in Batman.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced the updated death toll, saying: “We have approximately 30 residents under the wreckage in Elazig.”

The search and rescue operations are underway and the death toll could rise, said Koca. 

The country’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has told reporters that the injured were transferred to hospitals and facilities have been opened to serve those who have been affected.

Five buildings in Sivrice and 25 in Doganyol district, Malatya were destroyed, the Turkish authorities said and warned the residents not to go into damaged buildings.

The AFAD said 118 aftershocks, with magnitudes ranging from 2.7 to 5.4, were felt following the powerful quake. The quake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10 km (6 miles), according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

It said hundreds of tents, beds and thousands of blankets were dispatched to cities.

The Turkish Red Crescent announced a crisis desk was set up in Ankara, and rescue teams dispatched to quake areas. Mobile kitchens, which serve up to 5,000 people, were sent to the region.

The quake was also felt in other provinces including Adana, Osmaniye, Tunceli and Hatay and countries including Syria, Armenia and Georgia.

This is not the first quake to hit Turkey in 2020. A 5.4-magnitude quake jolted western province of Manisa on Wednesday. And Ankara was rattled by a 4.5-magnitude quake Thursday.

A total of 51 people were killed in 2010 when a 6.0-magnitude quake hit Elazig province.

on 1999, a deadly earthquake occurred in northwestern Izmit city of Turkey. The event lasted for 45 seconds, killing around 17,000 people and left nearly half a million people homeless.

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