At least eight people have been killed and 21 others injured in Turkey’s Van province following an earthquake early Sunday, the country’s interior minister has said.
Three of those killed were children, according to Suleyman Soylu, adding that some 1,066 buildings have collapsed.
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority had begun rescue work, Soylu said.
“Search and rescue efforts are ongoing,” he said.
The magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck the Turkey-Iran border region, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said. The quake had a depth of 5 km (3.1 miles), the EMSC said.
Turkish public broadcaster TRT World said it affected about 43 villages in Turkey, which has a history of powerful earthquakes.
TRT said damage inspection teams had been dispatched to the region. There were also reports of building collapses in the Turkish city of Van.
Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra reporting from Hatay in southern Turkey said authorities are racing against time to reach those affected by the earthquake.
“Authorities say they are concerned that many people might be trapped in the rubble. Rescue operations are underway. Dozens of mountainous villages have been affected. The area is one of the most seismically active areas in the world.” He said.
Iranian officials said emergency teams have been sent to the affected areas.
Source: Al Jazeera