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5.9-magnitude earthquake shakes Turkey-Iran border; nine deaths reports

By
Maura Kelly, Accuweather.com
A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck near the border between Turkey and Iran on Sunday morning. Map courtesy United States Geological Survey
A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck near the border between Turkey and Iran on Sunday morning. Map courtesy United States Geological Survey

Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Nine deaths have been reported after an earthquake struck near the border between Turkey and Iran just before 9 a.m. Sunday.

The earthquake was reported to be 5.7 magnitude on the Richter scale by the United States Geological Survey. The epicenter was located about 16 miles to the southeast of Saray, Turkey.

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Following the first earthquake, two aftershocks sent tremors through the region, a 4.4 magnitude at about noon and another about an hour later at 4.1 magnitude.

Shaking was felt across the Van and Hakkari provinces in eastern Turkey.

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Residents in Yuksekova, Hakkari, located about 3 miles from the epicenter, reported the most intense shaking. Buildings made of mud and bricks across this area were damaged and destroyed in the intense shaking.

The death toll climbed as search and rescue teams along with villagers looked through the rubble. Thirty-seven people were injured, nine of which are critical, according to Mehmet Emin Bilmez, the governor of Van.

There are no more villagers under the rubble and tents have been set up for shelter, according to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

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Fourteen villages in western Iran have been effected by the earthquake, reported Al Hadath. Villages report damage to homes and barns across the area.

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A few rain and snow showers were around in eastern Turkey and western Iran on Sunday, but any shower activity will continue to taper off into Sunday night as high pressure moves into the region.

Dry and seasonably chilly conditions are forecast to prevail on Monday. By Tuesday, a storm system will move into Turkey and spread occasional snow showers into the region. Colder air will arrive with this system.

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