This is the original We The World story on the earthquake that hit Turkey and Greece. The latest version of the story is out. Read it here.
The huge Aegean quake, with an epicenter 16,5 kilometers (10.3 miles) below the sea was felt as far as Istanbul, Athens, and Bulgaria, and was powerful enough to topple buildings in the western Turkish town of Izmir province.
A tsunami warning might be underway in Izmir after sea waters started to rush in the southwestern part of Izmir, social media footages show.
Many people uploaded videos of an emerging sea from the coasts, where the seawater can be seen gushing in flooding the low-lying areas with foot-deep waters.
Frightening footage from Izmir shows a huge building falling apart as the earthquake hits. Several aftershocks hit both the regions and people have been asked to stay alert.
In January, an earthquake struck the Sivrice in Turkey’s eastern Elazig province killing 30 people and injuring over a thousand, the BBC reports.
Meanwhile, in Samos, the Aegean sea has flooded low lying areas of the Greek coast. Social media footages show people standing in foot-deep water near the coast, filling the sudden disaster that kicked in.
In Samos several buildings and structures have collapsed, local media reported, and at least three tsunami waves have already stuck the region.
The United States Geological Survey recorded the quakes at 7.0 while the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the quake had a magnitude of 6.9, with an epicenter 13 kilometers (8 miles) north northeast of the Greek island of Samos.
Prelim earthquake measurements tend to differ.
Social media images show toppled buildings in the town of Izmir, with sirens buzzing in the background. Some footages show preliminary rescue efforts already under the way with people pulling others from the rubble.
No immediate reports of casualty have been confirmed, Izmir authorities said but later the Assosiated Press confirmed at least four people have died in Izmir province.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted 35 medical response teams, 38 ambulances, and two ambulance choppers were deployed in Izmir.
Turkish media states as much as 20 buildings have fallen off from the powerful quake in the city of 4.5 million inhabitants, Turkey’s largest after Istanbul and Ankara.
Greek media reported people in the town of Samos and other islands fled their homes and the tremors were felt as far as the Greece capital Athens.
“We are trying to stay close to the ground. We are all in the square and not inside buildings. I believe that in a little while we will have an assessment by the police and the services for any damages,” mayor of western Samos, Alexandros Lymperis was quoted as saying by local media.
Note: This is a breaking story. Read more updates here.