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Death toll rises to 39 in Turkey earthquake

By
Jean Lotus
At least 35 people are dead and more than 800 injured in the Turkish city of Izmir after a 7-magnitude earthquake struck Friday off the coast in the Aegean Sea. Photo by Erdem Sahin/EPA-EFE
At least 35 people are dead and more than 800 injured in the Turkish city of Izmir after a 7-magnitude earthquake struck Friday off the coast in the Aegean Sea. Photo by Erdem Sahin/EPA-EFE

Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Turkish officials said Saturday that the death toll of a magnitude-7.0 earthquake has risen to at least 39 people with more than 800 injured in the coastal city of Izmir

The U.S. Geological Survey earthquake said the quake struck offshore of the Greek city of Neon Karlovasion, north of the Island of Simos in the eastern Aegean Sea, around 1:50 p.m. Friday.

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Around 20 buildings collapsed in Izmir, a city on the western edge of Anatolia with a population of 3 million people.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 243 people were hospitalized, with eight in intensive care. Those included a mother and three children, who were found after 23 hours inside a collapsed building. One of the children died.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday he would visit the region to see the damage.

The leaders of both Greece and Turkey, longtime adversaries, said they made contact with each other Friday.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he called Erdogan "to offer my condolences for the tragic loss of life from the earthquake that struck both our countries."

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Ergodan also offered condolences to Greece.

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"That two neighbors show solidarity in difficult times is more valuable than many things in life," Ergodan tweeted.

The Aegean Sea is the site of historic seismic activity due to a network of underwater tectonic plates and faults. The USGS called the earthquake an "intraplate event," where the Africa plate grinds against the the Eurasia tectonic plate.

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"While commonly plotted as points on maps, earthquakes of this size are more appropriately described as slip over a larger fault area," the USGS said.

The largest earthquake in recent memory in this area was a 1956 quake followed by aftershocks and a tsunami that killed 53 people and injured more than 100 in Greece. On July 20, 2017, a temblor measuring 6.6-magnitude in Bodrum, Turkey, killed two people.

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