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Earthquake injures at least 50 in Turkey

November 23, 2022

A 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit northwestern Turkey, injuring at least 50 people. While emergency operations continue, initial reports say there were no deaths or major damage to buildings.

Damaged buildings in Duzce following an earthquake
Initial reports said no one died in Wednesday morning's earthquakeImage: DHA

An earthquake struck Turkey about 170 kilometers (150 miles) east of Istanbul, injuring at least 50 people on Wednesday.

Authorities said the quake was at a magnitude of 5.9 — lower than the 6.1 given by the US Geological Survey — and its epicenter was in Duzce province's Golyaka district.

The quake itself also shook other nearby cities and was felt in Istanbul. The national disaster agency (AFAD) also registered more than 101 aftershocks.

What happened?

The quake woke people from their sleep and many rushed out of buildings in panic in the province that experienced a deadly earthquake 23 years ago.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who visited Golyaka, said one person was seriously hurt after jumping from a balcony out of panic.

People stay outside amid fears of aftershocks following an earthquake in Bolu, in Turkey, on November 23 2022.
Residents of the western Duzce province panicked as the earthquake prompted flashbacks of another deadly one which struck the same province 23 years agoImage: Depo Photos/ABACA/picture alliance

Initial images showed people covered in blankets outside their homes during the early morning. Some were seen placing blankets on the floor outside, and lighting fires for warmth.

Soylu said there were no reports of heavy damage or building collapses, but inspections were continuing.

Power was cut off and schools were closed in the region as a security precaution.

Around 800 people were killed in a powerful earthquake that hit Duzce in November 1999. In August 1999. Some 17,000 people were killed by another powerful quake that devastated nearby Kocaeli province and other parts of northwest Turkey.

Officials said around 80% of the buildings in the area were rebuilt or fortified following the 1999 earthquakes, which helped minimize damage.

 People rest outside their homes in Duzce, Turkey, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, after a magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit a town in northwest Turkey
Faultlines running through the East Mediterranean region make earthquakes a common occurrence in TurkeyImage: Depo Photos/AP/picture alliance

Earthquakes in Turkey are not uncommon due to the fault lines that run through the region.

sms/rmt (AFP, AP, Reuters)