9 killed in magnitude 5.9 earthquake near Turkey-Iran border (UPDATE)
At least nine people were killed and 50 others injured after a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck the Turkey-Iran border region, authorities said Sunday, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.
According to Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), the quake struck the Iranian city of Khoy in the country's West Azerbaijan province at 8:53 a.m. local time reaching a depth of 5.2 kilometers. The authorities reported several further quakes measuring up to a magnitude of 3.9. The province borders both Turkey and Iraq.
Later on Sunday second 5.9 magnitude earthquake shook Iran's Khoy near the Turkish border.
Speaking to reporters, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said three children and four adults were killed in eastern Van province's Başkule district. He later said two additional people has died.
Soylu said AFAD teams were quickly dispatched to the earthquake-hit villages near Van to rescue people stuck under rubble.
Shortly after Soylu's statement, Van Governorate confirmed all survivors under the debris were rescued by first responders.
The minister said experts at the scene were still assessing damage to the buildings and urged citizens to avoid entering damaged buildings.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said at least 50 people had been injured, including nine who are in a critical condition.
Koca said 25 ambulances, a medical helicopter and 13 emergency teams had been sent to the region. AFAD said 144 tents for families had been dispatched.
TV channels showed footage of locals and soldiers digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings as families fearing further tremors sat in snowy streets.
Foreign diplomatic missions in Ankara conveyed their condolences over the deadly earthquake.
The Delegation of the European Union said in a tweet "it stands in solidarity with the people and authorities of Turkey in their hour of need."
The U.S. and British embassies in Ankara extended condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded.
Iran’s official IRNA news agency said the earthquake affected 43 villages in the mountainous Qotour region. It reported 75 residents were injured but didn’t say if any were in critical condition.
Hours after the quake in Iran, Turkey was shaken again by another, smaller earthquake. A magnitude 4.5 earthquake hit the western province of Akhisar at 3:40 p.m. local time, according to AFAD.
No damage or casualties have been reported in Manisa or in the neighboring provinces.
Four adults and three children died in the earthquake, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.
Five Turkish citizens were taken to hospitals with injuries, he said noting that the search and rescue efforts continue.
There are buildings destroyed in the area, Ozcan Isik, local mukhtar of Baskale district told semi-official Anadolu Agency.
An earthquake of magnitude 5.7 struck West Azerbaijan Province in northwestern Iran on Sunday, hitting Turkish-Iranian border as well.
A powerful earthquake hit eastern Turkey in January causing the deaths of 41 people and injuring 1,600 others.