An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 shook western Turkey and the Greek island of Lesbos on Monday, injuring at least 10 people and damaging buildings, authorities said.
The earthquake’s epicenter was in the Aegean Sea at a very shallow depth of seven kilometers (some four miles) and hit at 3:28 p.m. (1228 GMT), Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management said. At least 25 aftershocks were recorded. Tremors were felt in densely populated Istanbul and in the western Turkish provinces of Izmir.
Authorities in Lesbos said dozens of homes were damaged in parts of the island and some roads were closed. At least 10 people were injured in the village of Vrisa, Greek authorities said.
“We are advising residents in affected areas of Lesbos to remain outdoors until buildings can be inspected,” senior seismologist Efthimios Lekkas said.
Earthquakes are frequent in Greece and Turkey, which are on active fault lines. Two devastating earthquakes hit northwestern Turkey in 1999, killing around 18,000 people. Experts in both countries said more aftershocks are to be expected.
Senior Greek government officials, seismologists and response teams are heading from the capital, Athens, to Lesbos to assess the damage.
Turkey’s emergency management agency said there were no reports of casualties and has dispatched emergency and health teams, and 240 family tents to the area as a precaution.
In Turkey, 61-year old Ayse Selvi felt the tremors in her summer home in Karaburun near the quake’s epicenter.
“My God, all the picture frames fell on the ground and I have no idea how I ran out. I’m scared to go inside now.”
Her sister, Seval Isci, 57, was ironing at home in Izmir when the earthquake hit and left her home along with the other residents of the building when the first aftershock hit.
“We were really scared,” she said.
Private Dogan news agency showed residents in western Turkey leaving buildings.
State-run radio in Greece said hundreds of residents left buildings and waited out in the street in Lesbos’ capital, Mytilene. There was no reported damage or injuries at refugee camps on Lesbos or the nearby island of Chios. Both islands saw a major influx of migrants leaving from Turkey in 2015, and about 8,000 remain in limbo in Lesbos and Chios as they await news on their asylum applications.
Source: Associated Press