afternoon, sending buildings crashing down and triggering what authorities have called a “mini tsunami”.
Officials said twelve people were killed in coastal areas in Turkey‘s west, while two teenagers died on the Greek island of Samos after a wall collapsed on them.
In Turkey, Mayor Tunc Soyer revealed that at least 20 buildings in the city of Izmir alone were destroyed, CNN reports.
Images showed vehicles crushed under the buildings and people digging through the rubble in search of survivors.
The country’s disaster agency said more than 419 people have been injured in Turkey, adding that dozens of them saved by rescue teams using diggers and helicopters to search for survivors. Search and rescue operations continue in 17 buildings.
Footages showed water flooding through the streets of Cesme and Seferihisarin in parts of Turkey’s wider Izmir province, as well as on the Greek island of Samos, in what officials described as a “mini tsunami”.
Idil Gungor, who works as a journalist and runs a guesthouse in the Turkish town of Siğacik in Izmir province, said that the area was damaged more by the force of the water than the quake itself.
Her guesthouse, in a 100-year-old building, had been inundated and fish were swimming inside it, she said. Shops in town have also been flooded and their goods damaged.
United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the tremor’s magnitude at 7.0, while Turkish authorities said it was 6.6.
USGS stated that the quake struck 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) northeast of the town of Néon Karlovásion on Samos at 1:51 pm Greek time (7:51a.m. ET/12:51pm WAT).
However, it hit at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers, making its impact powerfully felt at ground level around the epicenter.
Authorities in both countries have reported dozens of aftershocks. Izmir Governor, Yavuz Selim Köşger has called on residents to stay off the roads and refrain from using mobile phones unnecessarily so that emergency vehicles could reach affected areas and response teams could communicate effectively.
In Greece, Samos Deputy Mayor Giorgos Dionisiou told Greek media that some old buildings had collapsed on the island.
Greek authorities have told residents to stay away from the shore and buildings, and to be on alert for high waves as aftershocks continue.
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