A major earthquake has occurred in the eastern Aegean Sea. The center of the magnitude 6.6 earthquake was in the Aegean Sea off the Turkish province of Izmir and the Greek island of Samos, Turkish and Greek media reported Friday.
The USGS, which is responsible for earthquakes, even stated that the magnitude of the earthquake was 7. The number of deaths has now risen to at least twelve, the Turkish civil protection service Afad reports. Another 420 people were injured.
According to reports in Greek media, two 17-year-old youths were found dead on Samos on Friday afternoon. The girl and boy were on their way home from school to the small town of Vathy when the walls of a house collapsed as a result of the earthquake in a narrow alley.
According to the initial findings, the earthquake was very close to the surface. It should also have been exceptionally long at about 30 seconds, as announced by Samos Town Hall. Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu wrote on Twitter that six buildings have collapsed and other buildings have been damaged.
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According to various reports, the quake should have been felt in the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul and as far as the Greek capital Athens.
Charles Michel, President of the EU Council, has helped Turkey and Greece after the massive earthquake in the Eastern Aegean Sea. “My thoughts are with everyone who has it,” Michel wrote on Twitter on Friday. “The EU is ready to provide support.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also offered assistance. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also pledged help in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkish news channel TRT showed photos of a collapsed building in Izmir and reported panic in the streets during the earthquake. The governor of Izmir province said that about 70 people had been rescued from the rubble and more people were sought. Telephone connections have been interrupted.
Larger dust clouds hung over the city in the television images. According to Anadolu, the earthquake occurred at 2:51 PM local time (12:51 PM CET).
Warning for waves of three meters on Samos
Dust clouds rose on Samos and several buildings were damaged, Greek state television reported. Both there and on the Turkish west coast, the water overflowed its banks after the earthquake during a tsunami, and since the great earthquake at noon there have been several aftershocks, some of which were strong, and the power went out.
The German Geosciences Research Center (GFZ) in Potsdam provided information on Friday afternoon about the “massive earthquake with tsunami”. According to calculations by GFZ, the waves reached a height of more than 1.5 meters; they could have reached the shore up to ten feet high. Turkey is one of the countries most affected by earthquakes in the world. In August 1999, more than 17,000 people died in an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale. (dpa, AFP, Tsp)