A deadly earthquake has killed 21 people in eastern Turkey. The earthquake was 6.8 in magnitude and occurred at 8.55 local time on Friday. Over 1,000 others were injured, the authorities said today.
The epicentre of the quake was in Sivrice district, along with neighbouring provinces and could be felt as far afield as Syria, Iran and Lebanon.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced the updated death toll, saying: “We have approximately 30 residents under the wreckage in Elazığ.”
Search and rescue operations are continuing and the death toll could rise, said Koca.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said the injured were transferred to hospitals and facilities have been opened to serve those who have been affected.
Five buildings in Sivrice and 25 in Doğanyol district of Malatya province were destroyed, said Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum.
He also cautioned residents not to go into damaged buildings.
Around 228 aftershocks were felt following the powerful quake and that hundreds of tents, beds and thousands of blankets were dispatched to cities as temperatures plummeted to 0.0C.
The Turkish Red Crescent announced a crisis desk was set up in the capital Ankara and rescue teams were dispatched to earthquake-hit areas. Mobile kitchens, which serve up to 5,000 people, were sent to the region.
This is the third earthquake to have happened in Turkey this week, the other two were not fatal.