A strong earthquake struck Friday in the Aegean Sea between the Turkish coast and the Greek island of Samos, killing at least 14 people and injuring hundreds amid collapsed buildings and flooding, officials said. A small tsunami struck the Seferihisar district south of Izmir, the city in western Turkey that was the worst affected, said Haluk Ozener, director of the Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute.
Izmir Gov. Yavuz Selim Kosger said at least 70 people had been rescued from the rubble. Mayor Tunc Soyer said about 20 buildings had collapsed in the province.The quake was given a preliminary magnitude rating of 7.0 by the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck at 2:51 p.m. local time and was centered in the Aegean Sea about 8.5 miles northeast of Neon Karlovasion, on the north side of the island of Samos, off the coast of Turkey. Greek media said residents of Samos and other islands fled their homes while some rockfalls were reported.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the government would help those affected by the quake “with all the means available to our state”.
We felt it very strongly,” local journalist Manos Stefanakis told adding that smaller aftershocks were continuing.
He said it was the biggest tremor to have hit the island since 1904.
Residents were urged to stay outdoors and keep away from coastal areas. About 45,000 people live on Samos.