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Strong earthquake shakes Greece and tumbles buildings in Turkey

A strong earthquake in the Aegean Sea has shaken Turkey and Greece.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said Friday’s earthquake was centred in the Aegean at a depth of 16,5 kilometres and registered at a 6.6 magnitude.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.9, with an epicentre 13 kilometres north northeast of the Greek island of Samos.

The United States Geological Survey put the magnitude at 7.0.

Turkish media showed wreckage of a multiple buildings in Izmir, with people climbing it to reach rescuers. Smoke was filmed in several spots in central Izmir. And in some areas, video posted to social media showed flooding.

Turkey’s interior minister reports that several buildings in western Izmir province were destroyed.

“We took action to start the necessary work in the region with all our relevant institutions and ministers,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a tweet.

Turkey’s AFAD said “search and rescue and first aid teams were sent to the region immediately.”

“In addition to İzmir, personnel and vehicles from neighbouring provinces were also dispatched to the region for support,” AFAD said in a tweet.

There was no immediate information on casualties, according to officials, but video posted to social media showed people searching the rubble for people who may be trapped.

Turkish media said the earthquake was felt across the regions of Aegean and Marmara, where Istanbul is located. Istanbul’s governor said there were no reports of damage.

The quake was felt across the eastern Greek islands and even in the Greek capital, Athens. Greek media said the residents of Samos and other islands fled their homes, while some rockfalls were reported.

Greek public television reported that a “mini-tsunami” occurred on the island of Samos.

There were no immediate reports of injuries. Both countries reported aftershocks.

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