Four people have been confirmed dead after a powerful earthquake with 6.8 magnitude rocked the eastern Turkey on Friday, causing buildings to collapse.
The earthquake reportedly struck on Friday at 8.55pm local time, near the town of Sivrice in eastern Elazig province, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said four people had died. ‘We are hoping we will not have more casualties,’ he was quoted as saying by the official Anadolu news agency.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters that there were no reports of any casualties in Sivrice but said the quake may have caused casualties in rural areas outside the town.
Sivrice was shaken very seriously, we have directed our rescue teams to the region,’ he told reporters, adding that there were reports of some collapsed buildings in the region.
He added that troops were also on standby to assist if required.
The Kandilli seismology center in Istanbul said the quake measured 6.5, while the US Geological Survey gave the preliminary magnitude as 6.7, with the quake affecting not only Turkey but also Syria, Georgia, and Armenia.
State media in neighbouring Syria reported the earthquake was felt in several areas of the country. Local media in Lebanon reported the same in the cities of Beirut and Tripoli.