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6.6-magnitude quake hits E. Turkey, casualties feared


21:44, October 23, 2011

Local residents stand on the ruins of a collapsed building after an earthquake in Van, eastern Turkey, on Oct. 23, 2011. An earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale jolted eastern Turkey on Sunday, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported. (Xinhua/Anatolia)

ANKARA, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- An earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale jolted eastern Turkey on Sunday, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

The Turkish leading newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported on its website that the quake hit the village of Tavanli in the eastern province of Van on Sunday afternoon and it can be felt in Hakkari, a town 200 kilometers away from Tavanli.

It destroyed several buildings in Van and caused panic, the Anatolia news agency said, adding that the quake can be felt in Dyarbakir, Sirnak, Siirt, Batman and Mardin.

Some people were trapped under debris of buildings in central Van, it added.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported Sunday that an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale hit eastern Turkey.

The epicenter, with a depth of 7.20 km, was initially determined to be at 38.6270 degrees north latitude and 43.5349 degrees east longitude, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Turkey, lying atop the North Anatolian fault, has been plagued by earthquakes frequently.

On March 8, 2010, at least 38 people died and dozens of others were injured after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake which hit Elazig province in eastern Turkey.

On Aug. 17, 1999, two powerful earthquakes, measuring 6.7 and 7.4 on the Richter scale respectively, hit northwestern and western Turkey, killing about 18,000 people and affecting hundreds of thousands of others.

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