Turkey and Greece were battered by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake today which killed at least fourteen people, flattened buildings and caused a mini-tsunami which flooded streets in horrifying scenes on the Turkish coast.
Debris was racing down Turkish streets after an apparent sea surge near Izmir where at least six buildings were destroyed and footage showed people climbing over the wreckage of collapsed multi-storey blocks.
Turkey’s disaster agency said at least twelve people were dead and 419 injured in the earthquake, while two teenagers were killed in Greece when the wall of a building collapsed on the island of Samos.
The mini-tsunami reached Samos too where islanders were told to avoid the coast after some fled their homes because of the quake, which was also felt in Athens and nearby Albania, North Macedonia and Bulgaria.
According to Turkey’s disaster agency, at least 84 aftershocks were recorded, with 16 of them being more than 4 on the Richter scale.
A destroyed building in Izmir, Turkey, after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake in the Aegean today which killed at least four people and injured 120 others in Turkey, while injuring at least four people in Greece
28-year-old Malik Tahirler is being rescued from wreckage by the search and rescue teams in Bornova district
Wounded people are cut free from the wreckage of a toppled building in Izmir, Turkey, after the quake struck
Search and rescue teams continue to look for survivors with dogs in Izmir
Rescuers search for survivors at a collapsed building after a powerful earthquake struck Turkey’s western coast
A man is being carried out of the debris of a collapsed building in Izmir
Debris was racing down Turkish streets after an apparent sea surge near Izmir amid a ‘mini-tsunami’ in Turkey and Greece which followed the 7.0-magnitude earthquake in the Aegean Sea today
Rescue workers and local volunteers carry a wounded person on a stretcher after they were found in the debris of a building
Search and rescue teams work their way through the rubble of a collapsed building in Izmir, Turkey, after the country was struck by a magnitude 7 earthquake
The rubble of a flattened building is seen from the air as night falls over Izmir, Turkey, after the city was hit by an earthquake
Heavy lifting machinery is used to sift the rubble of a collapsed building in Izimir, Turkey, after it was hit by an earthquake
The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the quake had an epicentre eight miles from of the Greek island of Samos
Flooding on the Greek island of Samos where sea water covered a square after a sea surge came in the wake of the tremor
A statue of a lion looks over a flooded square with benches and trees surrounded by water at the Greek port of Vathi
A Greek Orthodox church was damaged in the town of Karlovasi after the island of Samos was hit by today’s earthquake
Greek firefighters look at a building which was knocked out of shape by the earthquake which hit the island of Samos today
An injured person is surrounded by medical helpers after being cut free from the wreckage in Izmir’s Bayrakli disrict today
People surround the claw of an excavator as they search for survivors at a collapsed building in Izmir today
People wearing masks look at an injured person being put on a stretcher as victims were taken for medical help in Izmir
Locals and officials search for survivors at a collapsed building after a strong earthquake struck the Aegean Sea on Friday and was felt in both Greece and Turkey
People prepare stretchers as they search for survivors in a building which was totally disfigured by Friday’s earthquake
A Volkswagen car in the rubble of a collapsed building in Izmir following the earthquake which brought down huge structures
People look at the rubble of a building in Izmir after the earthquake struck on Friday
According to Turkey’s disaster agency at least 12 people are dead and 419 injured after the catastrophic earthquake
People look at a building which was knocked precariously off-balance by the earthquake which struck on Friday afternoon
The rescue operation begins as people climb over the wreckage of a collapsed building following the powerful earthquake
An aerial vivew of a pile of rubble in Turkey with dozens of rescuers and emergency workers on the scene as the light faded
Emergency responders wearing white helmets scour the rubble today after this building was toppled by the earthquake
Rescue workers and people search for survivors at a collapsed building after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Izmir, Turkey
Rescue workers and people search for survivors at a collapsed building in Izmir, Turkey
Rescue workers sift through the rubble of building in Izmir, Turkey, after an earthquake that killed at least six
Rescue teams searching for survivors in the debris of a building located in Bayrakli area, after the 6.6 quake in Izmir, Turkey
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said Friday’s earthquake was centred in the Aegean at a depth of 10.3 miles.
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.
A small tsunami struck the Seferisar district of Izmir, said Haluk Ozener, director of the Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute.
Of the twelve confirmed deaths, one person drowned in high waters after the earthquake while the others were thought to have been buried under the wreckage of collapsed buildings.
Pictures from the Turkish disaster zone showed smoke blowing over the city of Izmir, debris being washed away by high waters, and dazed people trying to make their way through rubble piled high on the streets.
There were 38 ambulances, two ambulance helicopters and 35 medical rescue teams on the ground in Izmir, where TV footage showed police using chainsaws as they tried to force their way through the rubble. Local media said 70 people had been rescued alive from the debris.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Greece’s prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis later spoke to Erdogan to offer condolences for the victims in Turkey, saying that ‘whatever our differences, these are the times when our people need to stand together’.
France, which has been locked in an angry row with Turkey in recent weeks, also offered its ‘full solidarity’ with both Turkey and Greece.
Tensions between Ankara and Paris had reached a peak last weekend when President Erdogan questioned the mental health of his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.
An injured woman is carried on a stretcher through a crowd of people at the scene of the disaster in the Bayrakli district
A man puts a mask over his face by the side of an emergency vehicle in the Bayrakli district during search and rescue works
A huge crowd of locals and emergency officials search the debris of one of the collapsed buildings in Izmir today
People look at the collapsed facade of a building in Izmir today with emergency services responding to Friday’s disaster
The rubble of a building is heaped on the ground after it collapsed during the Aegean earthquake on Friday
Seawater floods a shop at the port town of Vathy following a mini-tsunami caused by the earthquake on the island of Samo
A car is barely above water while a chair is partly submerged in a road in Vathi today after high waters brought by the quake
People walk past a damaged house on the Greek island of Samos where at least two people were killed in Friday’s earthquake
Cars are covered in dirt at a quake-damaged site in Izmir shortly after the 7.0-magnitude pummelled Greece and Turkey
Buildings overlook a mountain of rubble while a car’s bonnet is covered in grime following the earthquake in Izmir
A woman holds her head as she looks at the ruins in Izmir while an excavator begins the clean-up operation in the Turkish city
Search and rescue works underway in Izmir today with Turkish flags hanging from two nearby windows in the coastal city
A car is submerged on Turkey’s Aegean Sea coastline today after the mini-tsunami which followed the huge earthquake
People stand on the flooded promenade of the port town of Vathy following the earthquake in Greece
Boats anchored to the coast are seen damaged after the earthquake caused an apparent sea surge and resulted in flooding
A group of women wearing masks look at phones as they stand outside their homes following the earthquake in Turkey
A massive search and rescue operation underway in Izmir after the 7.0-magnitude quake barrelled into Turkey and Greece
Boats were carried out from a harbour in Turkey (left) where debris was also seen floating along flooded streets (right)
Smoke over the city of Izmir which appeared to have taken the heaviest damage of the earthquake on the Turkish side
Damaged buildings in Turkey where the earthquake destroyed at least six buildings
People anxiously wait for news as crews search through the rubble of a destroyed building in Izmir for survivors
Damaged buildings are seen after a magnitude 6.6 quake shook Turkey’s Aegean Sea coast, in Seferihisar district of Izmir
Search and rescue works are being conducted at debris of a building in Bayrakli district, Izmir
The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the quake had an epicentre eight miles from Samos, where the island’s 45,000 people were urged to stay away from coastal areas.
Greece’s top seismologist Eftyhmis Lekkas told Greek media: ‘It was a very big earthquake, it’s difficult to have a bigger one.’
A tsunami warning was issued, with residents of the Samos area told to stay away from the coast while water rose above the dock in the main harbour of Samos and flooded the street.
Media reports said the the two victims, the first to be reported in Greece, were aged 15 and 17, and were walking home from school in the port of Vathy when disaster struck.
‘Two unconscious youngsters were pulled from the rubble of a collapsed wall and taken to hospital for identification,’ the fire service said. The Greek authorities said another seven people have been injured in the quake, which caused the walls of several old buildings to crumble.
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 one local official. ‘People are panicking.’ Police said there was damage to some old buildings on the island.
Both countries reported aftershocks.
Greece and Turkey are both situated in one of the world’s most active earthquake zones. In 1999, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey’s northwest, killing more than 17,000 people, including 1,000 in Istanbul.
Another quake in 2011 in the southeastern province of Van resulted in more than 600 deaths. In Greece, the last deadly quake killed two people on the island of Kos, near Samos, in July 2017.
A person receives treatment after feeling faint following the earthquake on Turkey’s Aegean Sea cost today
Boats were damaged after the earthquake which had its epicentre in the Aegean Sea struck the coast of Turkey
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
Cars are damaged and covered in muck at the port of Vathy in Greece where the mini-tsunami reached the Aegean island
Cars are together piled after an earthquake at the port of Vathi on the eastern Aegean island of Samos, Greece
Seawater covers a square after an earthquake at the port of Vathi on the eastern Aegean island of Samos, Greece
Seawater covers a road after an earthquake at the port of Vathi on the eastern Aegean island of Samos, Greece
According to Turkey’s disaster agency, at least 84 aftershocks were recorded after the quake