Earthquake hits southwest Turkey

The European earthquake monitoring service said the quake measured 6.4 magnitude. (EMSC website)
Updated 24 March 2019
0

Earthquake hits southwest Turkey

  • Turkey’s Kandilli Observatory said the earthquake was 5 kilometers deep
  • ‘This is the biggest quake that I felt, I was outside but it was shaking very much’

ISTANBUL: A moderate 5.6 magnitude earthquake shook Turkey’s western province of Denizli on Wednesday, damaging some buildings and knocking bricks and tiles to the ground in the rural area, according to witnesses, officials and the Turkish quake monitor.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, according to mayors and administrators of districts at and around the epicenter of the tremor, speaking on broadcaster NTV.

Turkey’s Kandilli Observatory said the earthquake, which stuck at 9:34 a.m. (0634 GMT), was 5 kilometers deep and followed by four aftershocks between 4.2 and 3.4 magnitude.

The United States Geological Survey said it was 5.7 magnitude while the European monitoring service measured it at 6.4 magnitude.

“This is the biggest quake that I felt, I was outside but it was shaking very much,” Sahin Agah, 30, resident of the town of Acipayam near the epicenter, told Reuters by phone.

“I saw some roof tiles, bricks and solar water heaters fell from the roofs. There are some cracks in buildings. I did not see any building collapsed. Everyone is outside,” Agah said.

Administrators from the districts of Ucari and Yenikoy, the epicenter of the quake, said on NTV some 20 buildings and houses were damaged. Officials were still assessing the damage.

Yenikoy resident Muharrem Gezi said there was minor damage in his village. “I saw some chimneys broken and roof tiles falling on the streets. Some garden walls collapsed as well. Everyone is scared and outside. No one is injured,” he said.


Thousands return to government-seized areas in northwest Syria: state media

Updated 15 September 2019
0

Thousands return to government-seized areas in northwest Syria: state media

  • The Syrian Observatory reported “around 3,000 people” going home from other areas under regime control
  • The Idlib region is one of the last holdouts of opposition forces

DAMASCUS: Thousands have returned to their hometowns in northwest Syria after military advances by government loyalist against militants and allied rebels, state media said Sunday.
“Thousands of citizens return to their villages and towns of the northern Hama countryside and the southern Idlib countryside,” state news agency SANA said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, reported “around 3,000 people” going home from other areas under regime control.
Since August 31, a cease-fire announced by regime backer Russia has largely held in northwestern Syria, though the Observatory has reported sporadic bombardment.
SANA said the returns came amid “government efforts to return the displaced to their towns and villages.”
The Idlib region of around three million people, many of them dispaced by fighting in other areas, is one of the last holdouts of opposition to forces backing Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Moscow announced the cease-fire late last month after four months of deadly violence that displaced 400,000 people, most of whom fled north within the jihadist-run bastion, according to the United Nations.
Regime forces had chipped away at the southern edges of the jihadist-run stronghold throughout August, retaking towns and villages in the north of Hama province and the south of Idlib province.
Syria’s civil war has killed more than 370,000 people since it started in 2011 with the repression of anti-government protests.
Assad’s regime now controls more than 60 percent of the country after notching up a series of victories against rebels and jihadists with key Russian backing since 2015.
But a large chunk of Idlib, fully administered by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate since January, as well as a Kurdish-held swathe of the oil-rich northeast, remain beyond its reach.