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7.0-magnitude earthquake flattens buildings in Turkey, followed by mini-tsunami on Greek islands

10:51 PM Oct 30, 2020 | AFP

A powerful earthquake of 7.0 hit magnitude hit Turkey and Greece on Friday, killing at least six people, levelling buildings and creating a mini tsunami that flooded streets near the Turkish resort city of Izmir. Also ravaged by mini-tsunami was the eastern Aegean Sea island of Samos.

At least six buildings were destroyed and footage showed people climbing over the wreckage of collapsed multi-storey blocks. They could do little else as debris raced down the flooded streets of the Turkish resort, which has around three million residents.

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Images from the popular vacation destination showed collapsed apartment buildings and dazed people trying to make their way through the rubble. "Oh my God!" one passer-by shouted near a collapsed building in one image that went viral in Turkey.

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In another, a crowd let out a relieved cheer and broke out in applause as one woman was pulled out alive in tears.

Izmir's mayor told CNN that 20 buildings had collapsed. Six people were dead but scenes of devastation suggested the toll could rise.

Images on social media showed water rushing through the streets of one of the towns near Izmir from an apparent sea surge.

Footage showed rescuers being helped by residents and police using chainsaws as they tried to force their way through the rubble of a seven-floor building that had collapsed.

As the hours wore on, the region's governor said 70 people had been pulled out of the rubble alive.

On the Greek island of Samos, near the quake's epicentre, people rushed out into the streets in panic. Greece and Turkey are both situated in one of the world's most active earthquake zones. The two uneasy neighbours also suffer from historically poor relations despite both being members of the NATO military alliance.

But the quake saw a spurt of what pundits immediately termed "earthquake diplomacy", after the two countries' foreign ministers promised to help each in a rare phone call.

Some of the world's strongest earthquakes have been registered along a fault line that runs across Turkey to Greece.

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