Strong quake rattles Greece and Turkey

People climb over the rubble of a collapsed building

Strong earthquake rattles Greece and Turkey

The first of magnitude 6.9 hit the Turkish city of Seferihisar, some seventy kilometers from Izmir in the west of the country, and caused a mini-tsunami.

The quake, which the Kandilli institute said had a magnitude of 6.9, struck at 2:51 p.m. local time in Turkey and was centered in the Aegean northeast of Samos at a depth of 16.5km.

Reports said the natural disaster caused mini-tsunami on the Aegean island of Samo as several buildings were damaged.

Earthquakes are common in Turkey and Greece. The two, a boy and a girl, were confirmed dead after being found unconscious in an area where a wall had collapsed in an area of Vathy, a town on the island.

"People are panicking and have spilled out into the street", Samos Deputy Mayor Giorgos Dionysiou said.

A group of women wearing masks and with concerned looks on their faces stand on a street some talking on phones
People stand outside their homes after a strong earthquake hit the Turkish city of Izmir

Four people have been killed and 120 injured after a powerful natural disaster struck Turkey's western coast and parts of Greece on Friday as both nations vowed to help the other in their recovery efforts. Izmir's Governor said 70 people had been rescued from under the rubble.

At least 20 buildings were destroyed in Izmir, the city's mayor told CNN Turk.

Much of the damage in Turkey occurred in and around the Aegean resort city of Izmir, which has around three million residents. Turkey's interior minister tweeted six buildings in Izmir were destroyed. There were small cracks in some buildings in six other provinces, he said.

Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum said 522 people were injured, with five undergoing surgery and eight in intensive care.

People crowded onto the streets in Izmir and stayed outside, riding out the aftershocks hours after the quake.

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Turkish broadcasters showed a wrecked building in western Izmir province.

Footage from the area showed flattened buildings and survivors being pulled from the rubble by emergency workers.

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The tremors would have been felt as far as Istanbul and Athens.

The Greek civil protection agency told Samos's residents in a text message to "stay out in the open and away from buildings".

In a tweet, the Turkish president offered his condolences to Greece and said "that two neighbors show solidarity in hard times is more valuable than many things in life".

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