Houses are reduced to rubble after an earthquake hit villages in Baskale in Van province, Turkey, at the border with Iran, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said numerous people have been killed and several others wounded in Sunday's quake with more people trapped under debris. (IHA via AP)
ANKARA, Turkey, Feb 23: Eight people were killed in Turkey in a magnitude 5.7 earthquake that struck western Iran early Sunday morning, Turkish Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu said.
The quake centered on the Iranian city of Khoy and affected villages in the Turkish province of Van.
Soylu told a news conference in Ankara that three children and four adults were killed in Turkey’s Baskule district. He later said another person had died.
Some of the wounded remain trapped under the debris of fallen buildings, he added.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said at least 21 people had been injured, including eight who are in a critical condition.
Emergency teams have been sent to the remote mountainous region.
Iran’s official IRNA news agency said the earthquake affected 43 villages in the mountainous Qotour area. It reported some residents were injured but didn’t say any were in critical condition.
According to the European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC), the quake, which happened at 9:22am local time (0552GMT), had a depth of 5 kilometers (3 miles).
The region has a history of powerful earthquakes. Last month a quake centered on the eastern Turkish city of Elazig killed more than 40 people.
Turkish broadcaster NTV showed images of locals and soldiers digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings as families fearing further tremors sat in snowy streets. The EMSC reported several further quakes that measured up to magnitude 3.9.
The effects of the quake hit four villages in Van. Six of the fatalities occurred in Ozpinar village, where Soylu said search and rescue teams had arrived.