Mert Kakir / AFP via Getty Images
Updated at 2:45 PM ET
At least 14 people were killed Friday in Turkey and Greece after a strong earthquake off the coast of a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea. Emergency crews are working to find victims and survivors of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, according to the US Geological Survey. Turkish officials said that residents felt more than 100 aftershocks.
The worst effects of the earthquake were reported in western Turkey, with officials saying 12 people were killed and more than 400 injured. At least 17 buildings were destroyed or damaged in Izmir – one of Turkey’s largest cities, known in ancient times as Smyrna.
A person died by drowning, according to Turkey Disaster and Emergency Management Authority. The agency said that search and rescue teams are still trying to reach anyone who may be trapped or injured.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis He said he called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offers his deepest condolences for the tragic loss of life as a result of the earthquake that struck our two countries. The Greek leader added: “Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together.”
The strong quake hit northern Nyon Karlovacion, a small town on the Greek island of Samos. At least eight people were injured there, according to Greek State-run broadcaster ERT. But it also reported that two high school students, a boy and a girl, died in Samos after a wall collapsed on a narrow street.
The earthquake destroyed the old buildings on the island. It also caused a wall of sea water to flood stores and swept cars away. Reported ERT.
USGS / Screenshot by NPR
The earthquake shook a large part of western Turkey – especially Izmir, where hundreds of thousands of people live within 40 miles of the epicenter. Turkey said its army was transporting relief supplies and personnel to the region.
The US Geological Survey said Friday’s earthquake was an “internal event” caused by the Africa Plate along the Eurasia tectonic plate. The agency said the earthquake, which struck nearly 155 miles north of the main boundaries between those plates, is largely consistent with previous earthquakes in the region.
“While they are commonly plotted as points on maps, earthquakes of this size are more appropriately described as sliding over a larger fault area,” the US Geological Survey said. She added that an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 would have a fault normally of 50 x 20 kilometers – about 31 x 12 miles.
Every year, the Africa plate moves north about 10 millimeters (about 4/10 of an inch), The agency said.
This is a developing story. Some of the things that are reported by the media will later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from government officials and other authorities, reliable news outlets and correspondents on the site. We will update as the situation develops.