Two killed, 79 injured in 5.9-magnitude quake in western Turkey

15:49, May 20, 2011      

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Turkish Minister of Environment and Forests Veysel Eroglu said on Friday that two people were killed and 79 others injured after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake shook the western part of the country.

Eroglu said in the western Kutahya province, where the tremor occurred at 11:15 p.m. on Thursday (2015 GMT), that the injured including one in serious conditions were taken to local hospitals, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

Turkey's Kandilli Observatory said the epicenter of the quake was Simav town of Kutahya and people living in surrounding provinces and towns also felt the quake.

Meanwhile, U.S. Geological Survey said magnitude of the quake was 6 and the epicenter was 77 km from Kutahya.

Within one hour after the first quake, Kutahya was shaken by several aftershocks, including a quake with 4.6 magnitude at round 11:25 p.m. (2025GMT).

The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said search, rescue and health team had been sent from Istanbul, Izmir, Bursa, Afyon, Usak and Kutahya to Simav town.

The authorities said a total of 71 vehicles, 50 of which were ambulances, as well as five sniffer dogs had been dispatched to the region as well.

Turkish Red Crescent and Search and Rescue Association AKUT also announced that they would send teams to Simav.

Simav was located in a first-degree quake zone and earthquakes were expected in the region all the time, Mustafa Erdik, Kandilli Observatory's head official, was quoted as saying.

Turkey is a quake-prone country with much of its territories lying atop the North Anatolian fault. In 1999, more than 18,000 people were killed in two devastating earthquakes in the country.

Source: Xinhua
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