Powerful earthquake strikes near coast of Turkey

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 July, 2017, 7:04am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 July, 2017, 8:02am

A powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.7 struck off the southwestern Aegean Turkish coast on Friday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The quake, which struck at 1.31am, was located off the southwestern coastal city of Marmaris in the Mugla province, the USGS said. It was close to the Turkish towns of Bodrum and Datca, both major tourist hubs, and the Greek island of Kops in the Dodecanese Islands archipelago.

Esengul Civelek, the governor of Mugla, said initial reports showed there was no major damage or disruption. She said a small number of people had suffered minor injuries.

Mugla Mayor Osman Gurun said power outages affected certain parts of the province and that telephone operators experienced shortages due to overloads. Bodrum Mayor Mehmet Kocadon said the earthquake had caused minor cracks on some old buildings.

Turkish broadcaster NTV reported that aftershocks were being felt in the region, with a 4.6 magnitude aftershock hitting at 1.52am.

The European quake agency EMSC said a small tsunami could be caused by the quake, but Turkish broadcasters cited officials saying large waves were more likely.

The temblor, initially reported as a magnitude 6.9, was very shallow, only 10km below the seabed, the USGS said.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said the temblor had a magnitude of 6.3, while local authorities said the quake was felt across the Aegean coast.

A magnitude 6.7 quake is considered strong and is capable of causing considerable damage, but the effects of this one would have been dampened by striking in the sea.

Turkey is prone to earthquakes because it is located between the Arabian plate and Eurasian plate.