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Turkey, Greek island quake death toll reaches 27

By The Assam Tribune

IZMIR (TURKEY), Oct 31 - Rescue teams on Saturday ploughed through concrete blocs and debris of eight collapsed buildings in search of survivors of a powerful earthquake that struck Turkey�s Aegean coast and north of the Greek island of Samos, killing at least 27 people. More than 800 others were injured. The quake hit Friday afternoon, toppling buildings in Izmir, Turkey�s third largest city, and triggering a small tsunami in the district of Seferihisar and on Samos. The quake was followed by hundreds of aftershocks.

Early on Saturday, onlookers cheered as rescued lifted teenager Inci Okan out of the rubble of a devastated eight-floor apartment bloc. Two other women were rescued from another collapsed two-story building. At least 24 people were killed in Izmir, including an elderly woman who drowned, according to Turkey�s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, or AFAD. Two teenagers were killed on Samos after being struck by a collapsing wall. At least 19 people were injured on the island, with two being airlifted to Athens and seven hospitalized on the island, authorities said.

The small tsunami that hit the Turkish coast also affected Samos, with seawater flooding streets in the main harbour town of Vathi. Authorities warned people to stay away from the coast and from potentially damaged buildings.

The earthquake, which the Kandilli Institute said had a magnitude of 6.9, struck at 2:51 pm (11:51 GMT) in Turkey and was centred in the Aegean northeast of Samos. AFAD said it measured 6.6.

It was felt across the eastern Greek islands and as far as Athens and in Bulgaria. In Turkey, it shook the regions of Aegean and Marmara, including Istanbul. � AP

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