A powerful earthquake struck eastern Turkey today. The 7.2 magnitude quake struck near the Iranian border and caused several buildings to collapse and likely a massive number of injuries.  From AP:

The worst damage was caused to the town of Ercis, in the mountainous eastern province of Van, close to the Iranian border. The city of Van also suffered substantial damage.

“Around 10 buildings have collapsed in the city of Van and around 25 or 30 have collapsed in Ercis, including a dormitory,” Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said.

Atalay said authorities had no information yet on remote villages, adding that the governor was now touring the region by helicopter to assess damage. The quake’s epicenter was in the village of Tabanli.

Authorities did not provide a casualty figure but the Kandilli observatory, Turkey’s main seismography center, said the quake was capable of killing many more people.

“We are estimating a death toll between 500 and 1,000,” Mustafa Erdik, head of the Kandilli observatory, told a televised news conference. His estimate was based on the structure of the housing in the area and the strength of the quake.

 

Here is the latest info from the US Geological Survey

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