ANKARA: At least 24 people have died in Turkey after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake which struck off the coast of Seferihisar district in the western province of Izmir has risen to 24, the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said.
The tremors occurred in the Aegean Sea at a depth of 16.5 kilometers (10.3 miles) but were felt across Turkey’s third-largest city and as far away as Istanbul in the north, Daily Sabah reported.
Rescue officials are working to rescue survivors from the rubble of several buildings. AFAD until now has announced 24 deaths with over 800 injured during the catastrophe that occurred on Friday.
Izmir Governor Yavuz Selim Köşger told reporters that four buildings were completely destroyed in the earthquake, and 70 were rescued from the rubble.
Three people were pulled out alive but injured from the rubble of a building in Izmir’s Bayraklı district.
The quake was strong enough to send people into the streets in panic in a country that has seen major earthquakes that killed thousands in the past.
Following the earthquake, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said all government institutes have sprung into action to help the city.
“We stand with all our citizens affected by the earthquake with all means possible. All our respective institutes and ministers have been mobilised,” he said.
Moreover, people in Izmir and neighbouring provinces were warned by the AFAD to stay away from their homes if there was visible damage to the buildings.