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Death toll rises to 29 and at least 1,400 injured in Turkey earthquake

TURKEY-EARTHQUAKE
Rescue workers work amid the rubble of a building after an earthquake in Elazig, eastern Turkey, on Saturday.

By Isil Sariyuce, Hamdi Alkhshali and Amir Vera, CNN

(CNN) -- At least 29 people died and more than 1,400 are injured in eastern Turkey after an earthquake rattled the region on Friday evening, according to authorities.

The 6.7-magnitude quake struck near the town of Sivrice, in eastern Elazig province, collapsing at least 10 buildings, Turkish Interior Minister Sulyman Soylu said.

Eighteen people were killed in Elazig province and four in Malatya province, said Soylu at a news conference on Saturday.

At least 43 people have been rescued from the rubble in Elazig, according to Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), state news agency Anadolu reported.

Around 39 people were pulled from under a collapsed building overnight, Soylu said earlier, adding that 22 people remained trapped.

Most of the injured were in Elazig province, the epicenter of the quake, according to an AFAD statement.

Video from Turkey's IHA Broadcasting Services shows emergency crews rescuing injured people from a collapsed building.

The earthquake caused five buildings to collapse in Elazig and heavy damage to a number of buildings in the area, Minister of Environment and Urbanization Murat Kurum told reporters.

Preliminary reports say the earthquake lasted 40 seconds, AFAD said, adding that 3,699 search and rescue personnel have been deployed.

Fifteen aftershocks have been felt in the wake, with the strongest registering at 5.4 magnitude, Soylu said. The quake struck at a relatively shallow depth of 10 km (6 miles), according to the US Geological Survey (USGS), which enhances the shaking felt at the surface.

About 500,000 people felt strong to very strong shaking, the USGS reported. The earthquake was felt in several other countries, including Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

The quake interrupted a live broadcast of Edessa TV. Video of the broadcast shows four anchors talking while everything shakes around them.

All relevant departments were taking measures to ensure the safety of citizens following the earthquake, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said early Saturday. Interior, health and environment ministers were sent to the quake-hit area.

CNN

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