Istanbul, Turkey At least 27 people were killed in Turkey and Greece when a powerful magnitude of 7.0 earthquake struck the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey and the Greek island of Samos on Friday afternoon, rattling cities sending buildings crashing down, and unleashing what authorities have called a “mini tsunami” in western Turkey.
A total of 470 aftershocks have been recorded, 35 of which were over 4.0 magnitude, the agency added. Search and rescue operations remain underway in 8 buildings, while operations have been completed in 9 other buildings, the disaster agency said.
At least 804 people have been injured in Turkey, said the country’s disaster agency. Dozens were saved by rescue teams using diggers and helicopters to search for survivors.
In Turkey, at least 20 buildings were destroyed or damaged in Izmir Mayor Tunc Soyer told CNN Turk. One of Turkey’s largest cities, which is known in antiquity as Smyrna.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said aid 25 people were killed in coastal areas in Turkey’s west, Reuters reported. Two teenagers, a boy, and a girl died on the Greek island of Samos after a wall collapsed on them.
One person died by drowning, according to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority. The agency said search and rescue crews are still trying to reach anyone who might be trapped or injured.
I just called President @RTErdogan to offer my condolences for the tragic loss of life from the earthquake that struck both our countries. Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together.
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) October 30, 2020
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “to offer my condolences for the tragic loss of life from the earthquake that struck both our countries.”
The Greek leader added, “Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together.”
Turkey is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, according to Reuters. More than 17,000 people have died as a result of earthquakes in the nation in recent decades.
Turkey and Greece are currently fighting over exploration rights in the Mediterranean, Reuters reported — but both leaders tweeted about the need for solidarity during times of crisis.
Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister.
I offer my condolences to all of Greece on behalf of myself and the Turkish people. Turkey, too, is always ready to help Greece heal its wounds.
That two neighbors show solidarity in difficult times is more valuable than many things in life. https://t.co/eo6iClofKZ
— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) October 30, 2020