5.5-magnitude earthquake strikes southwestern Turkey
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
In a written statement, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said the quake hit Denizli province at 9:34 a.m. (0634 GMT).
Its epicenter was in the province’s southern countryside in Acıpayam district, at a depth of 11.36 kilometers.
The earthquake was felt throughout the Aegean region and south of the Marmara Sea.
The quake damaged some 50 buildings and knocked bricks and tiles to the ground in the Yeniköy, Karahöyük, Uçarı, and Gedikli neighborhoods, said officials, warning citizens not to enter damaged structures.
Denizli Governor Hasan Karahan said that according to initial examinations, three people were slightly injured.
AFAD President Mehmet Güllüoğlu similarly said that three citizens were “slightly injured.” “We have not received so far any information about any loss of life,” he said.
Apart from the 5.5-magnitude quake, 31 aftershocks between the magnitudes of 2.1 and 4.8 hit the province early on March 20.
Ali Şanlıer, Acıpayam district governor, said that the schools in the Acıpayam district were closed for the day, whereas patients receiving treatment at Acıpayam State Hospital were taken outside the building due to panic.
Meanwhile, the president of the Turkish Red Crescent (“Kızılay” in Turkish), Kerem Kınık, said their organization had sent teams to Denizli following the quake.
“Additionally, from the Aegean region, in a lorry, 20 tents of 16 square meters, two sunshade tents of 50 meters square, one sunshade tent of 63 meters square, 250 blankets, 100 beds, one light tower, one generator have been dispatched to Denizli,” Kınık said on his Twitter account.
The United States Geological Survey said the quake measured a magnitude of 5.7 while the European monitoring service measured it at 6.4.
“This is the biggest quake that I felt, I was outside but it was shaking so much,” a resident of the town of Acıpayam told reporters.
“I saw some roof tiles, bricks and solar water heaters fell from the roofs. There are some cracks in buildings. I did not see any building collapse. Everyone is outside,” he said.
“I saw some chimneys broken and roof tiles falling on the streets. Some garden walls collapsed as well. Everyone is scared and outside. No one is injured,” another resident told reporters.