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Large quake hits in Aegean Sea near Greece and Turkey: 6 dead, more than 200 injured

A strong earthquake struck Friday between the Turkish coast and the Greek island of Samos, collapsing several buildings in Turkey's western Izmir province and leaving at least four people dead. Dozens more were injured.

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Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted that four people were killed in Izmir and 120 were injured. He said 38 ambulances, two ambulance helicopters and 35 medical rescue teams were working in Izmir. On Samos, some damage to buildings and the road network and four light injuries were reported.

Izmir Gov. Yavuz Selim Kosger said at least 70 people had been rescued from the wreckage. He said four buildings were destroyed and more than 10 collapsed, while others also were damaged.

UPDATE: At least 27 reported dead and 800 injured in quake that hit İzmir and Greek island of Samos

Izmir Mayor Tunc Soyer told CNN Turk about 20 buildings collapsed. The city is the third biggest in Turkey with about 4.5 million residents. Turkey’s interior minister tweeted six buildings in Izmir were destroyed. He said there were small cracks in some buildings in six other provinces.
The environment and urban planning minister, Murat Kurum, said people were trapped under the wreckage and rescue efforts were underway.

Search and rescue efforts were continuing in at least 12 buildings, AFAD said.

Turkish media showed wreckage of a multiple-story building, with people climbing it to start rescue efforts. Smoke rose from several spots.

The quake was felt across the eastern Greek islands and as far as the Greek capital, Athens, and in Bulgaria.

Greek seismologist Efthymios Lekkas told Greek state television ERT that it was still too early to say whether this was the main earthquake, although he said it was likely it was.

“It is an event that is evolving,” Lekkas said, adding that some damage had been reported in parts of Samos.

The United States Geological Survey put the quake’s magnitude at 7.0. The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said it had a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 with an epicenter 8 miles north-northeast of Samos. It is common for preliminary magnitudes to differ in the early hours and days after a quake. Multiple aftershocks struck the region.

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