At least 68 people were injured this morning after an earthquake of magnitude 5.9 that hit the Turkish province of Düzce, 200 kilometers east of Istanbul, causing no fatalities.
The earthquake, which was also felt strongly in Ankara and Istanbul, as well as in the provinces of Bolu, Sakarya, Zonguldak, Kocaeli, Bursa, Bilecik, Izmir and Kütahya, was registered at 04:08 local time (01:08 in Lisbon), said the Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD).
The epicenter was located in the province of Düzce, at a depth of 6.81 kilometers, added AFAD. Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said no deaths or collapses of buildings had been reported so far.
The earthquake woke panicked citizens, especially in Düzce, where memories of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in 1999, which killed 710 people and injured 2,679, still linger.
People fled their homes, some through windows, and spent the night outdoors, not daring to return home as the aftershocks continued, with AFAD recording a total of 123, the strongest of which with a magnitude of 4 ,3.
Many were injured, and CNNTürk reported that many of the wounded reached the Düzce state hospital on foot. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said at least 68 people were injured, including a 28-year-old Afghan citizen who jumped from a first floor and suffered a stroke and is in serious condition.
Koca reported that 26 of the 68 wounded are still hospitalized, and except for the Afghans, none of them are in life-threatening condition.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also confirmed in parliament that no serious damage was reported.
“Although the Gölyaka earthquake caused damage to many buildings, fortunately we did not face major collapses or losses,” said the president.
Several rescue teams and ambulances were sent to Düzce, where power cuts were applied as a precautionary measure, and schools will remain closed today, both in Düzce and in three neighboring towns.
Turkey is located in one of the most active seismic zones in the world.
*News updated at 13:34