At least 14 dead and 20 buildings collapsed

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A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.8 on the eastern shore of Aegean Sea shook the west coast of Turkey in addition to the Greek islands that are closer to Anatolia. At the moment, as reported by the Turkish authorities, there are 12 dead and more than 400 injured. Greece, for its part, has recorded the death of two people, two young people aged 15 and 17 who were leaving the institute in Samos, the Greek island closest to the epicenter. On this island, there are also eight wounded and some old buildings affected.

The worst part has been Smyrna, the third largest city in Turkey. Authorities fear that the death toll will rise in the next few hours, as 20 residential buildings in this population have been completely destroyed. The rescue tasks continue.

“We are with our citizens affected by the earthquake, with all the capacity of the State. We are taking all the steps necessary to help to the region, “said the Turkish president this Friday afternoon, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His Government has been highly criticized by the opposition in the last year for “not having taken the necessary measures” to protect the country from the constant earthquakes that shake it. The last mortal was in January of this 2020: 41 people died.

“It’s the time the closer I have felt to dying. I was at my house with my sister, and we felt that, suddenly, everything was shaken. Several pieces of furniture have fallen, “he explains. Muge, a young woman from Smyrna who lives in a neighborhood close to the most devastated, Bayrakli y Bornova.

“The city is collapsed, and many buildings have lost their balconies,” he continues. According to him Turkish Interior Ministry, more than a hundred structures have been damaged by this earthquake, which has been felt as far as Athens, in Greece, and Istanbul, in Turkey.

Notice to the inhabitants of Samos

The epicenter has taken place about 17 kilometers (11 miles) off the coast of the province of Ermirna, at a depth of 16 kilometers, explained the Turkish emergency agency, which, given the large influx of ambulances and rescue teams in the city, has asked citizens don’t use cell phones or call friends and family if not strictly necessary.

The Greek authorities have urged residents of Samos, an island with a population of approximately 45,000 inhabitants, to stay away from coastal areas, as explained Eftyhmios Lekkas, head of the Greek organization for anti-seismic planning, to Read TV from Greece. “It has been a very big earthquake, it is difficult to have a bigger one,” Lekkas said.

Mosques and hospitals

On the Turkish side, the Directory of Religious Affairs has announced that mosques will be open to welcome, at night, all those who have lost their homes. In the hospitals of Smyrna, however, the situation was more complicated. Four of them have been severely damaged due to the earthquake and they had to evacuate all the patients. They have been placed in the outer areas of the enclosure.

Izmir is one of the most affected by covid in Turkey, where intensive care units, with each passing day, they fill up with more people. The earthquake this Friday will increase the pressure on the health system of that city.

There have already been countries that have offered their help: the EU has been willing to help both Greece and Turkey, as well as the France from Emmanuel Macron, with whom, in recent weeks, Erdogan has had a dialectical battle.

In fact, this Friday afternoon, the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and Erdogan, have spoken to support each other: “I have called President Erdogan to offer my condolences for the tragic loss of life in the earthquake that shook our two countries. Even with our differencesThese are times when our people have to be together, “Mitsotakis said through his social networks.”Turkey is ready to send aid to Greece if it is necessary, “Erdogan replied to the Greek prime minister.

I still live in the memory of the Turks follows the earthquake of 1999 from Izmit City, very close to Istanbul. In that event 17,000 people died and 250,000 were left homeless. Since then, annually, earthquakes in Turkey, which is located in a very active seismic zone, are almost annual; and some of them claim fatalities.

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