The death toll is increasing hour by hour after a powerful earthquake struck the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey and the Greek island of Samos. At least 19 people died and hundreds were injured after the 7.0 magnitude quake hit early Friday that rocked cities and caused a tsunami that flooded streets in western Turkey Turkey.
The chairman of the Turkish Emergency and Disaster Management Committee said 17 people were killed and 709 injured, Reuters reported. Two teenagers, a boy and a girl, died on Samos.
It remains unclear how many people were crushed in their own homes in Turkey, a country famous for its poor construction quality. Rescuers are searching for survivors and bodies in the rubble.
Duygu Kati, a high school principal, told CBS News she had safely evacuated all of her students. The building almost collapsed, she said.
Due to being located on some major fault lines, Turkey is one of the most earthquake prone countries in the world, according to Reuters. More than 17,000 people have died as a result of earthquakes in recent decades.
Greek seismologist Akis Tselentis told a state television station there was a high risk of aftershocks strong enough to topple buildings because of the earthquake’s epicenter of shallow depths, the Associated Press reported. believe.
According to Reuters, Turkey and Greece are currently vying for exploration rights in the Mediterranean – but both leaders have tweeted about the need for solidarity in times of crisis.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wrote: “Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said: “The two neighboring countries showing solidarity in difficult times are much more valuable than things in life.
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