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    Strong earthquake rocks Izmir

    Hürriyet Haber
    21.10.2005 - 11:41 | Son Güncelleme:

    A strong earthquake rocked the Western Aegean city of Izmir early on Friday morning leaving one person dead of a heart attack, 32 injured and schools were given a one-day holiday. The quake which struck at 12.10 pm measured 5.9 on the Richter scale and is the fourth within a week to hit the city sending large scale panic throughout the region.

    A spokesperson for the Izmir governor's office told AFP that a 68-year-old person died of a heart attack while running down the stairs of his house in panic. Fifteen people sought treatment at hospitals after jumping off balconies and windows, governor Oguz Kagan Koksal told the CNN-turk news channel. Several others suffered from panic attacks.

    The Istanbul-based Kandilli observatory announced that the quake measured 5.9 on the open-ended Richter scale and occurred under the Aegean Sea off the coast of Seferihisar, 40km southwest of Izmir. The Athens observatory said the tremblor measured 6.0 and was felt in Greek islands in the eastern Aegean Sea, but caused no damage or casualties.

    NTV reported that, residents were afraid to go back into heir house and many were sleeping outside in makeshift tents, while others huddled together around bonfires, the NTV news channel said.

    Turkey's top seismologist warned residents to be vigilant and stay away from damaged or derelict buildings. "There is intense seismic activity in the region. We expect this activity to continue for some time but we cannot say until when," Gulay Barbarosoglu, the head of the Kandilli observatory told a televised press conference in Istanbul.

    "The people of Izmir need to be vigilant and careful, but there is no need to panic," she added.

    Officials said the quake did not cause extensive material damage.


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