On October 30, Friday afternoon, a powerful earthquake struck the Aegean Sea off-coast of Turkey and Greece, killing at least 27 people. The earthquake destroyed many buildings and triggered a mini tsunami. In Turkey, in the city of Izmir, at least 20 buildings fell in ruins.
According to the authorities, 25 people were killed in coastal areas in Turkey’s west, while the other two were teenagers, a boy and a girl, who died on the Greek island of Samos after a wall collapsed on them.
The country’s disaster agency reported at least 804 people injured in Turkey. Several were rescued by the rescue team using diggers and helicopters to search for survivors.
A total of 470 aftershocks, 35 of which were over 4.0 magnitude, the agency added. “Search and rescue operations remain underway in eight buildings, while operations have been completed in nine other buildings,” the disaster agency said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that among Turkey’s injured, five people were being operated on and eight were in intensive care.
Water flooded through the streets of Cesme and Seferihisar in parts of Turkey’s wider Izmir province, as well as on the Greek island of Samos, which officials described as a “mini tsunami.” No tsunami warnings were given.
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 water’s force than the quake itself.
“Everybody is calm but shocked and we’re wondering what will happen, if there’s a second tsunami coming or not,” Gungor said.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured the earthquake at a magnitude of 7.0, while Turkish authorities said it was 6.6. The quake struck 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) northeast of the town of Néon Karlovásion on Samos, the USGS reported, at 1:51 pm Greek time (7:51 am ET). But it hit at a relatively shallow depth of 21 kilometers (13 miles), the USGS reported, making its powerful impact felt at ground level around the epicenter.
Authorities from both countries reported several aftershocks. Izmir Governor Yavuz Selim Köşger instructed residents to stay away from the roads and abstain 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.
People were told by Greek authorities to stay away from the shore and buildings, as there was a high possibility of aftershocks.