ANKARA, Turkey: An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.5 hit southeastern Turkey on Thursday, causing wide panic in one town, damaging buildings and injuring five people, officials and news reports said.
The earthquake was centered on the town of Samat in Adiyaman province. It was followed by four more tremors, the strongest measuring 4.4 magnitude, the government-run Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, or AFAD, said.
Yusuf Firat, the mayor for Samsat, said at least five people were injured in the quake, which knocked down some buildings in Samsat and surrounding areas, including a school and the mayor and the local governor’s residences.
Firat said no one was hurt in those buildings but the quake panicked the town.
Four teams of 35 rescuers were sent to the area, the private Dogan news agency reported.
The U.S. Geological Survey put the magnitude at 5.6 and said the quake was very shallow, around 10 kilometers (6 miles) deep. The quake was also felt in the neighboring provinces of Gaziantep, Kilis, Batman and Sanliurfa.
A separate earthquake, measuring 4.6 also struck the village of Kasimkuyu in Sanliurfa province, sending people out into the streets in panic.
Earthquakes are frequent in Turkey, which lies on active fault lines. Two devastating earthquakes hit northwestern Turkey in 1999, killing some 18,000 people.—AP