Eight Dead in Turkey as 5.7 Earthquake Strikes Western Iran

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Eight people were killed in Turkey in a magnitude 5.7 earthquake that struck western Iran early Sunday morning, Turkish Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu said.

The quake centeredwest of the Iranian city of Khoy and affected villages in the Turkish province of Van.

Soylu told a news conference that three children and four adults were killed in Turkey’s Baskule district. He later said another person had died.

No one remained trapped under fallen buildings, Van Governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez said.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said at least 21 people had been injured, including eight who are in a critical condition.

Emergency teams have been sent to the remote mountainous region.

Iran’s official IRNA news agency said the earthquake affected 43 villages in the mountainous Qotour area. It reported some residents were injured but didn’t say any were in critical condition.

According to the European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC), the quake, which happened at 9:22am local time (0552GMT), had a depth of 5 kilometers (3 miles).

The region has a history of powerful earthquakes. Last month a quake centered on the eastern Turkish city of Elazig killed more than 40 people.

Turkish broadcaster NTV showed images of locals and soldiers digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings as families fearing further tremors sat in snowy streets. The EMSC reported several further quakes that measured up to magnitude 3.9.

The effects of the quake hit four villages in Van.Sevenof the fatalities occurred in Ozpinar village, where Soylu said search and rescue teams had arrived.He added that the quake caused 1,066 buildings to collapse while the Education Ministry said a number of schools were damaged.

Koca said 25 ambulances, a medical helicopter and 13 emergency teams had been sent to the region. The Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) said 144 tents for families had been dispatched.

Copyright 2020. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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