New Delhi: At least 22 people were killed and more than 700 injured in Turkey and Greece on Friday after a powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.7 on Ritcher scale levelled buildings and caused flooding.
As many as 196 aftershocks were felt with 23 hitting over magnitude 4.0, news agency ANI said quoting Turkish media.
The 6.7-magnitude quake was which was felt as far away as Athens and Istanbul and aftershocks as strong as magnitude 6.2 are expected to follow, Akis Tselentis, director of the Geodynamic Institute of the National Observatory of Athens, told AMNA.
The late afternoon quake caused a mini-tsunami on the Aegean island of Samos and a sea surge that turned streets into rushing rivers in a town on Turkey’s west coast. Neighbourhoods were deluged with surging seawater which swept debris inland and left fish stranded as it receded.
Of the 22 victims, 20 were reported in Izmir and two in Samos, who were high school student. At least 786 were injured in Izmir and eight others on Samos.
The quake damaged buildings, mainly old constructions, and parts of Samos’ road network, and material damages have also been reported on the nearby islands of Chios and Ikaria, according to AMNA.
Search and rescue operations continued at 17 collapsed or damaged buildings in Izmir, AFAD said. Authorities were setting up tents with a total capacity of 2,000 people near areas with the highest damage, Urbanisation Minister Murat Kurum said.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to offer his condolences and support. They also tweeted their support to each following the tragedy. “Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together,” Mitsotakis said on Twitter. “Thank you, Mr Prime Minister,” Erdogan tweeted in reply. “That two neighbours show solidarity in difficult times is more valuable than many things in life.”