Earthquake rattles the Aegean region; casualties reported

Rescuers work to find survivors
Locals and officials search for survivors at a collapsed building after a strong earthquake struck the Aegean Sea on Friday and was felt in both Greece and Turkey, where some buildings collapsed in the coastal province of Izmir, Turkey, October 30. REUTERS/Tuncay Dersinlioglu

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SULAIMANI – An earthquake of at least 6.6 magnitude struck the Aegean Sea region Friday afternoon, 33-kilometers off the western coast of Turkey with scores of collapsed buildings and a tsunami reported in Izmir province as well as on Greece’s Samos Island.

Turkish news outlets reported numerous buildings had collapsed across Izmir’s districts with dozens of other buildings at risk of collapse. Smoke and dust were visible across the city’s skyline with emergency services and area residents rushing to clear the wreckage and dig survivors out.

The country’s disaster management agency, AFAD, the death toll inside Turkey had risen to 12 with 419 injured. In a tweet earlier in the afternoon, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, “We stand by the people of Izmir with all our support.”

State news agency Anadolu also reported two children were confirmed dead on Samos.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre reported at least 23 aftershocks following the earthquake at 11:51 GMT.

In the Turkish coastal town of Seferhisar, some 40-kilometers south of Izmir city, videos posted to social media showed a tsunami moving through the marina and central marketplace carrying debris along with it. Similar images in Samos showed cars partially submerged under water from a rise in sea level from the partial tsunami.

This is a developing story.