ISTANBUL – A strong 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Aegean Sea on Friday and was felt in both Turkey and Greece, local and international observatories said.
People flocked to the streets of the Turkish coastal city of Izmir after the earthquake, witnesses said. Footage from the Turkish state broadcaster TRT Haber showed the collapsed building in the center of Izmir.
The Turkish presidency for disaster and emergency management estimated the magnitude of the earthquake at 6.6, while the U.S. Geological Survey said it was 7.0. It took place around 1150 GMT and was felt on Turkey’s Aegean coast and in the northwestern region of Marble, media reported.
The epicenter was about 17 km (11 miles) off the coast of Izmir province, 16 km deep, AFAD said. The US Geological Survey stated that the depth was 10 km and that the epicenter was 33.5 km off the coast of Turkey.
Residents of Samos, an island of about 45,000 people, have been urged to stay away from coastal areas, Eftyhmios Lekkas, head of Greece’s anti-seismic planning organization, told Greek television Skai.
“It was a very big strong earthquake, bigger is hard to come by,” Lekkas said.
Istanbul’s governor, Ali Jerlikya, who was also affected by the earthquake, said there were no negative reports.