Aegean earthquake rattles western Turkey, Greece
Some buildings were damaged in the western Turkish province of ÇanakkaleA powerful earthquake centered to the north of the Turkish Aegean island of Gökçeada shook areas around western Turkey at 12:25 p.m on May 24, causing damage and minor injuries.
The Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) announced that 266 people were injured due to the panic caused by the earthquake, including one person in critical condition who jumped from a balcony in Balıkesir’s Edremit district.
The temblor measured 6.5, according to Istanbul's Kandilli Observatory, Turkey's main seismic monitoring institute, while a magnitude 5.3 aftershock shook the area six minutes after the earthquake.
People rushed to the streets from their homes in western Turkish provinces, including Istanbul, İzmir, Denizli and Antalya.
The mining disaster-struck town of Soma in the western province of Manisa also reportedly felt the earthquake strongly, with several people rushing to the streets in panic.
Although the governors of Istanbul and Çanakkale, in separate statements, said there were no casualties or damage in their provinces, 30 people in Çanakkale and five people in Tekirdağ were reportedly injured after jumping out of their apartment windows.
20 people were hospitalized in Gökçeada due to the shock they experienced. "I was on the beach. Rocks started to shake. They were moving under out feet. We ran away. It took 20-25 seconds," one Gökçeada resident told Hürriyet.
Meanwhile, the quake caused cracks in a hospital building in Çanakkale’s Yenice district. The patients are being evacuated from the Yenice State Hospital, and a two-tent field hospital will be built in the district, officials have announced.
The GSM networks collapsed due to overcapacity after the quake but the services were restored later.
Here is the first footage taken in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake from around Turkey:
In Greece, a duty officer at the Lemnos police precinct said a female British tourist was slightly injured at the airport when part of the ceiling fell, but she was treated at the scene and did not require hospitalization. No other damage or injuries had been reported, according to The Associated Press.
The Institute of Geophysics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki said the temblor announced a magnitude of 6.3; the U.S. Geological Survey initially reported a magnitude of 6.4, later revised to 6.9.
The quake struck at 12:25 p.m. local (0925 GMT) southwest of the Greek island of Samothraki, 210 kilometers (130 miles) east of Thessaloniki and 296 kilometers (185 miles) northeast of the capital Athens.
There were divergences as to the depth, as well. The USGS reported a depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles) but the Athens Geodynamics Institute has reported 27 kilometers (17 miles).
"The earthquake has occurred in an area with especially high seismic activity, which, in the past, has given earthquakes up to 7 magnitude (in 1982)," Manolis Skordilis of the Institute of Geophysics told The Associated Press. "We are currently analyzing the aftershocks and are on alert," he added.