A moderately strong earthquake shook the western province of İzmir in the early hours of Friday, leading to the death of one person and the injury of six others due to the panic caused by the tremor, the state-run Anadolu agency reported.
The Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) said the magnitude 4.9 earthquake was centered in Buca and struck at 3:29 a.m. (00:29 GMT). The quake was followed by several aftershocks and was felt in neighboring provinces.
İzmir Governor Yavuz Selim Köşger announced from Twitter that the quake toppled the minaret of a mosque in Konak but said there was no other major damage. He said injuries were sustained by seven people who jumped from high places in a panic.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 64 people were taken to a hospital following the quake. Seven of them were injured and one was in critical condition.
The severely injured person, 18-year-old Efe Altay Saral, who jumped from the first floor of a four-story, building succumbed to his injuries at the hospital later on Friday.
Friday’s quake came several days after the second anniversary of a powerful earthquake that hit İzmir on Oct. 30, 2020, killing a total of 114 people and injuring 1,035 others.
The temblor was centered in the Aegean Sea northeast of the Greek island of Samos. There was some debate over the magnitude of the earthquake. While the US Geological Survey rated it 7.0, İstanbul’s Kandilli Institute put it at 6.9 and AFAD said it measured 6.6.
Turkey is crisscrossed by fault lines and has a history of powerful earthquakes.
In January 2020, 41 people were killed when a 6.8 magnitude quake hit the eastern province of Elazığ.
In 2011 an earthquake struck the eastern city of Van and the town of Erciş, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) to the north, killing at least 523 people
In the country’s worst earthquake disaster, more than 17,000 people were killed in August 1999 when a 7.6 magnitude temblor struck the western city of İzmit, 90 kilometers (55 miles) southeast of İstanbul. About 500,000 people were made homeless.