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Strong earthquake kills 19 people in Turkey and Greek islands

Mehmet Emin Caliskan and Murad Sezer

Izmir, Turkey – Nineteen people were killed in Turkey and Greece after a strong earthquake struck the Aegean Sea on Friday, bringing buildings crashing down and setting off tidal waves which slammed into coastal areas and islands.

People ran onto streets in panic in the Turkish city of Izmir, witnesses said, after the quake struck with a magnitude of up to 7.0. Neighbourhoods were deluged with surging seawater which swept debris inland and left fish stranded as it receded.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said 17 people died, one due to drowning, while 709 people were injured. On the Greek island of Samos two teenagers, a boy and a girl, were found dead in an area where a wall had collapsed.

Search and rescue operations continued at 17 collapsed or damaged buildings in Izmir, AFAD said. Authorities were setting up tents with a total capacity of 2 000 people near areas with the highest damage, Urbanisation Minister Murat Kurum said.

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