Rescue efforts in Izmir where the earthquake struck

Twelve people have now been reported killed in Turkey after a strong earthquake struck the Aegean Sea on Friday.

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake brought buildings crashing down and setting off tidal waves which slammed into coastal areas and islands.

People ran onto streets in panic in the Turkish city of Izmir, witnesses said, after the quake struck.

Neighbourhoods were deluged with surging seawater which swept debris inland and left fish stranded as it receded.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) initially said six people died, one due to drowning, while 321 people were injured.

The death toll has now been revised upwards to 12, with the injured put at over 400.

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On the Greek island of Samos two teenagers, a boy and a girl, were found dead in an area where a wall had collapsed.

There were various reports of collapsed buildings with people stuck in the rubble in some of districts of Izmir, one of Turkey’s main tourist regions, and partial damage to property in other provinces, Turkish officials said.

Izmir mayor Tunc Soyer said around 20 buildings came down in the province. Izmir’s governor said 70 people had been rescued from under the rubble.

Ilke Cide, a doctoral student who was in Izmir’s Guzelbahce region during the earthquake, said he went inland after waters rose after the earthquake.

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“I am very used to earthquakes… so I didn’t take it very seriously at first but this time it was really scary,” he said, adding the earthquake had lasted for at least 25-30 seconds.

Ismail Yetiskin, mayor of Izmir’s Seferihisar, said sea levels rose as a result of the quake. “There seems to be a small tsunami,” he told broadcaster NTV.

Footage on social media showed debris including refrigerators, chairs and tables floating through streets on the deluge. TRT Haber showed cars in Izmir’s Seferihisar district had been dragged by the water and piled on top of each other.

Idil Gungor, who runs a hotel in Izmir’s Seferihisar district, told broadcaster NTV that people were cleaning the debris after the floodwaters receded. She said fish had washed up on the garden of the hotel, around 50 metres from the shore.

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Residents of the Greek island of Samos, which has a population of about 45,000, were urged to stay away from coastal areas, Eftyhmios Lekkas, head of Greece’s organisation for anti-seismic planning, told Greece’s Skai TV.