Strong Quake Hits Turkey, At Least 38 Dead

A magnitude 6 earthquake rocked Turkey’s Elazig province, damaging houses and some buildings mostly in the villages of Okcular and Yukari Kanatli. Mayor Bekir Yanilmaz of Kovancilar said that at least 38 people are confirmed dead in three villages in Elazig province. Elazig Gov. Muammer Erol had earlier said that at least five people were killed by the temblor, which woke up and sent residents scampering outside their homes. The quake struck at dawn local time. Its epicenter was found in the area of Basyurt-Karakocan with a depth of around 6 miles.

Police said they are still evaluating the damage caused by the temblor. A news reporter for Dogan News Agency said that the temblor shook the ground for about a minute. An aftershock with a magnitude of 4.1 was later recorded by the Kandilli Observatory in Istanbul. Nursel Senger of Dogan said houses collapsed in the village of Yukari Kanatli, killing two children, with at least two others believed to have been buried when their home crumbled.

Turkey, which lies on criss-crossing fault lines, is prone to strong earthquakes. In 1999, around 18,000 people were killed when a 7.4-magnituke temblor hit the country’s eastern regions.