7.2 Earthquake hits Van, Turkey
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit near Van in southeastern Turkey on Sunday near the border with Iran, Turkey’s Kandilli Observatory and Research Institute said, and media reported some buildings had collapsed.
The institute said the earthquake struck at 1041 GMT (6:41 a.m. EDT) and was 5 km (three miles) deep. The U.S. Geological Survey earlier reported that the magnitude was 7.6.
State-run news agency Anatolian said some buildings had collapsed. After shocks continued after the initial quake, Anatolian said.
A Reuters reporter in Hakkari, a town around 100 km (60 miles) south of the city of Van in southeastern Turkey, said he could feel the building sway for around 10 seconds.
Emergency workers battled to rescue people trapped in buildings in the city of Van and surrounding districts on the banks of Lake Van, near Turkey’s border with Iran.
Around 10 buildings collapsed in Van city and about 25-30 buildings were brought to the ground in the nearby district of Erciş, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay told reporters.
About 100 people have lost their lives (as of Sunday night) as a very powerful earthquake has struck collapsing dozens of buildings and pulling down phone and power lines journalists report.
Major geological faultlines cross Turkey and small earthquakes are a near daily occurrence. Two large quakes in 1999 killed more than 20,000 people in northwest Turkey.
Reporting by Jonathan Burch and Seda Sezer