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At least 22 people dead in Turkey after 7.0 quake hits Aegean Sea

At least 22 people dead in Turkey after 7.0 quake hits Aegean Sea
Twenty two people were killed and more than 800 injured in the Turkish city of Izmir after a powerful earthquake rocked its Aegean coast. Images coming from the city show significant damage, suggesting the death toll may rise.

According to the latest data, 20 people were killed in Izmir alone and as many as 800 were wounded in the quake.

Search and rescue operations have been ongoing at 17 collapsed or severely damaged buildings around the city. Izmir's governor said some 70 people had so far been rescued from under rubble.

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The Turkish authority has measured the earthquake at 6.6 in magnitude, while both the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said it was 7.0.

Shortly after the quake, Izmir’s Ege University urged the public to donate blood at its blood center as a “precaution,” signaling that the number of injured may potentially overwhelm the city’s emergency units.

At least 33 aftershocks followed the destructive earthquake, with 13 of the jolts exceeding a magnitude of 4.0, the Turkish data said. The epicenter of the primary quake was located at a depth of around 16km off the Aegean coast, affecting both the Turkish mainland and Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. The tremor was even reportedly felt in Athens.

Turkey’s Izmir and its namesake province have apparently experienced the worst impact. Izmir is Turkey’s 3rd largest city, with a population of some 3.7 million. Up to 20 buildings were destroyed by the quake across the province, Izmir’s Governor Yavuz Selim Kosger said in a statement.

Imagery from the scene shows that several multi-story buildings in Izmir have been completely flattened by the powerful tremor.

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