At least 8 dead in Turkey after earthquake hits border with Iran
ISTANBUL/DUBAI: At least eight people died and others were stuck under collapsed buildings in south-eastern Turkey yesterday after a magnitude-5.7 earthquake struck near the border with Iran, the Turkish government said, as teams dug through rubble in nearby villages.
Three of those killed were children and 21 people were injured, eight of them critically, Turkey's health ministry said.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said some 1,066 buildings collapsed.
The epicentre of the shallow tremor was in a rural area of north-west Iran.
Turkish TV footage showed people digging with shovels and their hands in collapsed buildings, as furniture and other belongings lay strewn on cracked roads.
Some residents were wrapped in blankets in the snow outside homes with crumbled exterior walls, fallen metal roofs, wide cracks and twisted wiring.
"The damage caused loss of life," the governor of Van, Mr Mehmet Bilmez, told reporters, standing in front of a pile of cinder blocks and sheet metal.
"There is destruction in all four villages" he visited yesterday, he added.
The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the quake, which hit at 8.53am local time (1.53 pm Singapore time) , was at a depth of 5 km.
Iranian officials said it had been felt in Iran but there were no immediate reports of deaths. - REUTERS