Turkey earthquake - three killed and 80 injured

20th May 2011
Turkey earthquake - three killed and 80 injured

At least three people have been killed and 80 injured after an earthquake measuring 5.9 struck north-west Turkey, around 300km west of the capital Ankara.

The tremor struck just before midnight local time and centred on the town of Simav, in Kutahya province.

Terrified residents ran into the streets, and many spent the night in cars after being warned not to go back to their homes.

One person died after jumping from a window in panic, officials said.

Kutahya Governor Kenan Ciftci said three people had died.


State media reported that at least one derelict building collapsed by the earthquake, which was followed by around 50 aftershocks.

At least 51 people were killed in a 6.0 magnitude earthquake in eastern Turkey in March 2010.

Two earthquakes in 1999 with a magnitude of more than 7 killed almost 20,000 people in the north-west of the country.

Istanbul’s 13 million inhabitants live in constant fear of a major earthquake, which experts predict will hit Turkey’s largest metropolis in the near future with a magnitude of up to 7.2.

Turkey has recently unveiled plans to build two new “earthquake proof” cities near Istanbul and relocate up to 1.5 million residents who are most at risk from a possible earthquake in the metropolis, the prime minister said on Wednesday.

The locations for the two satellite cities had been chosen after safety studies, prime minister Recep Erdogan said, adding that one of them would be built on the shores of the Black Sea on the European side of the city. The second one would be on the Asian side of the Bosphorus Strait.

The construction of the two cities would begin after June’s parliamentary election, he added.


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