Seven people died while others were stuck under buildings that collapsed in southeastern Turkey due to a 5.7 magnitude earthquake that struck near the border with Iran on Sunday, the Turkish interior minister stated as rescue teams arrived in villages.
Out of the people dead, three were children and five were were also injured, as per the minister Suleyman Soylu who further added that some 1,066 buildings collapsed. The Turkish TV footage showed that people were digging through rubble with shovels along with crumbled exterior walls of homes, cracks in roads and residents outside inside the snow.
EMSC said the quake had a depth of 5 km
The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said the quake had a depth of 5 km (3.1 miles). Iranian officials said it had been felt in Iran but that there were no immediate reports of deaths. Turkish public broadcaster TRT World said the quake-affected about 43 villages in Turkey, which has a history of powerful earthquakes. There were also reports of building collapses in the Turkish city of Van.
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority had begun rescue work, Soylu said. Crisscrossed by major fault lines, Iran and Turkey are among the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. An earthquake last month in eastern Turkey killed more than 40 people while another in Iran did structural damage to homes without causing any fatalities.
An Iranian official told state TV that rescue teams had been dispatched to the area. "So far, we've had no reports of damage or fatalities in the area, which is not a populated area in Iran's West Azarbaijan province," the official said.
But another local official said "it is very likely that there will be casualties and damage", Iran's state TV reported. The official said the earthquake was felt in several towns including Khoy, Urmiah and Salmas. He said about 43 villages in Iran were affected. "Some 43 villages in the area suffered 10 percent to 100 percent damage, But we had no reports of deaths, only injuries," he told state TV.