5.5 quake hits southeast Turkey

AFP , Thursday 14 Jun 2012

An earthquake of 5.5 magnitude hits Turkey's southeastern province of Sirnak knocking the minaret off a mosque in the city

Officials started cleaning up after an earthquake in Turkey. (File Photo: AP)

An earthquake of 5.5 magnitude jolted southeastern Turkey Thursday, Turkey's quake observatory said, knocking the minaret off a mosque in the city of Sirnak, NTV news channel reported.

The tremor shook the southeastern province of Sirnak at 0552 GMT, 5.4 kilometres (3.3 miles) below the ground, Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory announced on its website.

Local people also reported cracks in buildings, prompting officials to wran people to stay clear of damaged houses, as experts warned of possible aftershocks.

But there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The quake came within the week of another earthquake of 6.0 magnitude that shook a tourist resort in the southwest coast, causing panic and sending dozens to hospitals after many jumped from buildings in fear.

Turkey is crossed by several fault lines and slight tremors are an everyday occurence.

A powerful quake that shook eastern Turkey on October 23 last year, killed more than 600 people. It was followed on November 12 by a 5.6-magnitude tremor that killed another 40 people in the same area.

In 1999, two strong quakes in heavily populated and industrialised parts of northwest Turkey left some 20,000 people dead.

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