Four people have lost their lives after a powerful earthquake hit Turkey and Greece.
A magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook the Aegean Sea on Friday afternoon collapsing buildings in coastal areas.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca took to Twitter to announce the death toll as people gathered in and around the city of Izmir after fleeing their buildings to seek safety.
At least 20 buildings were destroyed in Izmir, the city mayor revealed.
Images showed a car being smashed under the collapsed building, and television footage showed people digging into the rubble in search of apparent survivors.
Izmir resident Ek Soysal told CNN Turk that he managed to pull it out of his office building just before it collapsed.
“There was an old woman in the building, but we rescued her, she came out. There is another building next to this building. “They continue to try to get people out,” he said.
The quake struck 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) northeast of the town of Néon Karlovásion on the Greek island of Samos, the USGS reported, at 1:51 pm Greek time (7:51a.m. ET).
But the quake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), making its impact powerfully felt at ground level around the epicentre. Turkey’s disaster agency recorded the depth at 17 kilometers.
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted: “Get well soon İzmir.”
“With all the means of our state, we stand by our citizens affected by the earthquake. We took action to start the necessary work in the region with all our relevant institutions and ministers,” Erdogan said.
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