24 killed as strong earthquake shakes Turkey, Greece
Twenty-four people were killed and 799 wounded in Turkey after a strong earthquake struck the Aegean Sea on Friday, bringing buildings crashing down and setting off tidal waves that slammed into coastal areas and nearby Greek islands.
People ran onto the streets in panic in the coastal city of Izmir, witnesses said, after the quake struck with a magnitude of up to 7.0 at around 1150 GMT.
Some neighborhoods were deluged with surging seawater, that swept a flood of debris inland and left fish stranded as it receded.
There were various reports of collapsed buildings, with people stuck in the rubble in some of the districts of Izmir, one of Turkey's main tourist regions, and partial damage to property in other provinces, Turkish officials said.
Izmir Mayor Tunc Soyer said around 20 buildings came down in the province. Izmir's governor said 70 people had been rescued from under the rubble.
Ilke Cide, a doctoral student who was in Izmir's Guzelbahce region during the earthquake, said he went inland after waters rose after the earthquake.
"I am very used to earthquakes... so I didn't take it very seriously at first but this time it was really scary," he said, adding the earthquake had lasted for at least 25-30 seconds.
Crisscrossed by major fault lines, Turkey is among the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. More than 17,000 people were killed in August 1999 when a 7.6-magnitude quake struck Izmit, a city southeast of Istanbul. In 2011, a quake in the eastern city of Van killed more than 500.