Magnitude 6.6 earthquake jolts Turkey's Aegean region
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said the quake occurred at 3.51 a.m. local time (1251GMT) at a depth of 16.54 kilometers (around 10 miles).
The agency stated the death toll as 17, as 709 people were wounded. One of those who was killed had drowned, the authority said due to a small-scale tsunami.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said some buildings collapsed in Bornova and Bayraklı districts.
He said there were no reports of casualties from six other provinces where the earthquake was felt but said there were
small cracks in some buildings.
Other western Turkish provinces, including Uşak, Denizli, Manisa, Balıkesir, Aydın, and Muğla saw small damages to some buildings, he said.
Turkish search-and-rescue teams continue their work on the field, the minister added.
İzmir mayor Tunç Soyer said nearly 20 buildings had collapsed in the province.
Turkish Environment Minister Murat Kurum said that people were trapped under the debris of five demolished buildings in Izmir after the earthquake.
Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said the quake was also felt in Istanbul, but no "negativities" were reported.
The National Defense Ministry has established a crisis desk in the wake of the earthquake two military helicopters are taking part in search and rescue efforts.
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said that ministry teams were directed to the region to avoid any problems related to energy supply.
Expressing solidarity, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey stands by the "citizens affected by the earthquake."
"We took action to start the necessary work in the region with all our relevant institutions and ministers," Erdoğan added.
The magnitude 6.6 quake struck northwest of the Greek island of Samos in the Aegean Sea, said the National Observatory of Athens.
Residents of the Greek island of Samos, which has a population of about 45,000, were urged to stay away from coastal
areas, Eftyhmios Lekkas, head of Greece's organization for anti-seismic planning, told Greece's Skai TV.
"It was a very big earthquake, it's difficult to have a bigger one," said Lekkas.
High tidal wave warnings were in place in Samos.