ISTANBUL (Reuters) - An earthquake of magnitude 5.8 shook southwest Turkey on Sunday and at least six people were injured after jumping from their balconies or windows in panic, observatory data showed and local media reported.
The quake struck off the coast of the Mediterranean province of Mugla, a popular destination for foreign tourists. A few buildings were damaged, the province’s Deputy Governor Necmi Kurt told NTV news channel.
Six or seven people were being treated for injuries in hospital, the channel said, citing local health officials, but no one died. There were no immediate reports that tourists were among the injured.
Earthquakes are a daily occurrence in Turkey, which is crisscrossed by geological fault lines. In October last year, more than 600 people died in the eastern province of Van after a quake of 7.2 magnitude and powerful aftershocks.
The latest earthquake struck at 3:44 p.m. (1244 GMT) in the Mediterranean Sea, at a depth of nearly 25 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its website.
Residents in the tourism hub town of Fethiye, in Mugla province, told NTV the quake lasted about 30 seconds. Many people remained outside as aftershocks rocked the area.
The earthquake was felt in several Turkish provinces as well as in the city of Izmir, about 330 km north of Fethiye, and northern Cyprus, NTV said. The Greek island of Rhodes also shook, officials there told Reuters.
It was the largest in a series of about 40 small quakes off Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coasts in the last 24 hours, Istanbul’s Kandilli observatory said.
In 1999, two massive earthquakes killed about 20,000 people in the country’s densely populated northwest.
Reporting By Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by Pravin Char