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6.8 magnitude earthquake hits Turkey; 18 dead, hundreds injured

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Istanbul: At least 18 people were killed and hundreds injured in an earthquake that shook Turkey on Friday night. According to media reports, the rescue teams, on Saturday, started working on looking out for people amidst the rubble. At least 30 people went missing after the magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit the area. Reports suggest that the quake had its epicentre in Sivrice that lies in the Eastern province of Elazig.

A 47-year-old man, Melahat Can, who lives in the provincial capital of Elazig, while speaking about the massive quake to AFP, said, “It was very scary, furniture fell on top of us. We rushed outside,”  Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan assured everyone that all steps were being taken to aid people affected by the quake, which caused widespread fear. He took to Twitter to say “We stand by our people.”

Turkish government’s disaster and emergency management agency (AFAD) said the quake hit Sivrice at around 8.55 pm (1755 GMT). It has also been said that the local media in Turkey presented pictures of panic-stricken people rushing out of their homes.

After the news spread, the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis took to Twitter to say, “My wholehearted sympathy to President @RTErdogan and the Turkish people following the devastating earthquake that has hit Turkey. Our search and rescue teams stand ready to assist.” His office later said that he had also spoken to the Turkish President too. His office also added that the Turkish President had confirmed that everything was under control for the night and would be evaluated in the morning.

However, reports also suggest that this kind of situation is not new to the city. Experts had warned that the city is highly prone to quakes that could lead to widespread destruction. In 1999, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake had hit Izmit in western Turkey, killing more than 17,000 people. Additionally, in September last year, a 5.7-magnitude earthquake had hit Istanbul.

Source: Times Now

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