Seven dead after earthquake hits Turkey-Iran border

A 5.7 magnitude quake has struck Iran’s northwestern border with Turkey. Ankara says 7 people have been killed in Turkey while Iran is still assessing damage and casualties.

 Seven people, including three children, have died following a 5.7 magnitude earthquake that struck the Turkey-Iran border region early on Sunday, Turkey’s interior minister said.

Five people were injured and taken to hospital, while officials believe that some are still buried under building rubble, said Suleyman Soylu. “Search and rescue efforts are ongoing,” he added. 

The quake had a depth of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles), the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said. 

The epicenter of the quake, which struck at 9:23 a.m. (5:53 UTC), was near the Iranian village of Habash-e Olya, less than 10 kilometers (six miles) from the border, according to the USGS.

An Iranian official told state TV that “rescue teams have been dispatched to the area … it is not a populated area in Iran’s West Azerbaijan province.”

However, another local official said it is “very likely” that there will be casualties or damages, Iran’s state TV reported. The official added that the earthquake was felt in several cities including Khoy, Urmiah and Salmas. Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency said the quake caused damage in several villages in neighboring Van province, which was struck earlier this month by two avalanches which killed 41 people.

Iran and Turkey are among the most earthquake-prone countries in the world. An earthquake last month in eastern Turkey killed more than 40 people, while another in Iran caused structural damage to homes without causing any fatalities. 

lc/mm (AFP, Reuters)

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