A large earthquake has hit the Aegean Sea on Friday, killing at least six people and injuring over 200 more. Much of the serious damage was seen in western Turkey and nearby Greek islands.
In the Turkish city of Izmir, over 20 buildings were destroyed, according to the city’s mayor, Tunc Soyer. Rescue teams are still working to save people trapped in the rubble and debris. More casualties and more survivors are expected to be found in the following days.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) registered the magnitude of the quake at 7.0, while Turkish officials have said that it was actually 6.6. Dozens of aftershocks have been felt throughout the region and are expected to continue as rescue teams search for survivors.
Izmir Governor Yavuz Selim Köşger told local residents to stay off the roads and to not use their cell phones unless it is an emergency so emergency crews can communicate.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the government would help those impacted by the disaster “with all the means available to our state”.
Buildings have also collapsed on the Greek island of Samos. No deaths have been reported in the area, and only about four minor injuries have been reported thus far. Greek authorities have still warned residents to stay away from the shore and large buildings in case of any additional aftershocks. A “mini-tsunami” was also reported in the area, although no official tsunami warning was issued. Samos has a population of about 45,000 people.
The earthquake also triggered a small-scale tsunami in Seferihisar district, Huseyin Alan, head of Turkey’s Chamber of Geological Engineers, told state news agency TRT.
Greek seismologist Efthymios Lekkas told Greek state television ERT that it was too soon to know if other earthquakes would follow.
“It is an event that is evolving,” Lekkas said, according to the AP.
In videos posted to Twitter, people can be seen climbing through the rubble.
Scenes from Izmir earthquake 😔 https://t.co/lTZQf8L7NG
— Baklava Badman 🏝📿 (@DIAS) October 30, 2020
The following video shows clouds of dust rising into the air across Izmir.
İzmir'de 6.6 büyüklüğündeki depremin yaşandığı anlar #deprem
— gzt (@gztcom) October 30, 2020
Multiple videos were posted to Twitter showed water rushing through streets in Izmir.
Izmir seferihisar da yasanan depremden sonra deniz taştı. Ust katlarda mahsur kaldik. Cok fazla zarar var. pic.twitter.com/TFhkjjKFGa
— zebercet (@beril_d) October 30, 2020
Another tsunami footage from the earthquake in Izmir province of Turkey.
This one is really dangerous pic.twitter.com/62zfddWSi8
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) October 30, 2020
Earthquakes are incredibly common in Turkey, in fact, the country is among the most earthquake-prone areas in the world. More than 17,000 people were killed in August of 1999 when a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck Izmit. Then, in 2011, an earthquake in the eastern city of Van killed more than 500 people.
Despite being in the midst of an intense trade dispute, the foreign ministers of Turkey and Greece promised that both countries would set their differences aside and work together to help the victims of the natural disaster.
Earlier this month, Anonymous News reported that there was an earthquake and tsunami warning for a large portion of Alaska’s coast. The size of the quake was reported to have been a magnitude of 7.5. However, in that case, there were luckily no deaths or injuries, nor was there any significant damage. This is likely due to the fact that Alaska is mostly rural, and was a significant distance away from Cook Inlet or Anchorage.