The earthquake that shook the coasts of the Aegean Sea this Friday has left at least 14 dead, two of them on the Greek island of Samos and the remaining twelve in the Turkish province of Izmir, where about twenty buildings have collapsed.
The death toll is likely to rise as teams from AFAD, Turkey’s emergency service, assisted by helicopters and unmanned aircraft, continue to search and rescue numerous citizens who remain trapped under the rubble, the service reported. on their website.
The 6.8-magnitude quake with an epicenter in the Aegean Sea occurred at 11:51 GMT and was felt throughout the Aegean and most of Greece, as well as large areas of western Turkey.
As explained by the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a public appearance broadcast by the NTV network, the number of injured this afternoon amounted to 438, of which eight are in intensive care.
«As if they were made of sand»
The businessman Özgür Aktepe, owner of a construction company, told Efe by phone that he was in a restaurant when he felt “a shock and a strange noise”, and when he left he saw a building under construction collapse on the other side of the street.
“Hearing of more collapsed buildings, I sent 15 trucks and construction machinery to the affected sites. My engineers, who are involved in rescue work, tell me that some buildings collapsed as if they were made of sand, “he added.
According to the builder, the engineers estimate “that it is impossible to get people alive who might be inside.
On the Greek island of Samos, which is barely ten kilometers from the epicenter of the earthquake, two deaths and eight injuries have been recorded.
The deceased are two teenagers aged 15 and 17, a boy and a girl who were going home from high school when they were trapped by a wall that collapsed into a narrow street.
High tide and tsunami
Of the twelve fatalities in Turkey, one is a woman who was washed away by a small tsunami caused by the earthquake, whose epicenter is 17 kilometers from Seferihisari, on the Turkish coast.
As the authorities of the coastal town of Sigacik, in the municipality of Seferihisari, explained to the Turkish press, the victim, an elderly woman, had left her house in a wheelchair when she felt the earthquake, but was run over by the waters turbulent that suddenly flooded the streets of the town.
Although a spectacular wave was not observed, the water rose around a meter in the streets and washed away many urban equipment and furniture before dispersing after half an hour.
A hundred boats from the Sigacik yacht port broke moorings and are adrift, according to the NTV network.
However, the greatest damage has occurred in neighborhoods in the city of Izmir, while the surrounding towns have only registered minor damage, according to witnesses told Efe.
After the earthquake, a hundred aftershocks have been felt, of which 21 exceeded 4 degrees of magnitude, according to AFAD.
The authorities have recommended to the population of certain neighborhoods of Izmir not to spend the night in their houses and AFAD has transferred 960 tents, 4,500 blankets and more than 3,000 beds to the affected area, as well as mobile kitchens and essential materials to attend the citizens who have remained on the street.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to offer his condolences, and the two leaders mutually assured each other of their willingness to send aid if necessary, Erdogan recounted in a televised appearance.
Although it has been felt throughout western Turkey, with serious damage to buildings also observed in neighboring provinces of Izmir, the earthquake has not affected Istanbul, located 330 kilometers to the north, although some residents of the city claim to have perceived the damage. tremor.