Nine dead in Turkey as 5.7 magnitude earthquake strikes near Iranian border
23 February 2020, 13:16 | Updated: 23 February 2020, 13:17
Nine people have died in Turkey following a 5.7 magnitude earthquake that struck near the Iranian border on Sunday morning.
The epicentre of the quake hit the Iranian city of Khoy in the country's west and impacted villages in the Turkish province of Van, Turkey's interior minister Suleiman Soylu said.
He told a news conference in the nation's capital, Ankara, that three children and four adults were killed in Turkey's Baskule district.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca later announced that nine had died, while a further 37 people were injured, including nine who are in a critical but not life-threatening condition.
Pictures on social media show some of the wounded still trapped under the debris of fallen buildings.
Authorities have sent emergency teams to the remote mountainous region.
Iran's official IRNA news agency said the earthquake impacted 43 villages in the Qotour area.
Reports suggested some residents were injured, however it did not say that any were in a critical condition.
The quake had a depth of three kilometres, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).
Powerful earthquakes have recently devastated the region, with a quake last month centring on the eastern Turkish city of Elazig killing more than 40 people.
Images of locals and soldiers digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings were shown on Turkish broadcaster NTV, while families fearing further tremors sat in snowy streets.
The EMSC reported several further quakes of magnitude 3.9.
The effects of the quake hit four villages in Van. Six of the deaths occurred in Ozpinar village where Mr Soylu said search and rescue teams had arrived.