Turkey earthquake: Nine killed as 5.7-magnitude quake strikes near Iran border

Kate Ng
Teams inspect the wreckage of a mud-brick construction after tremors from a 5.7-magnitude quake centered in northwestern Iran were also felt in Turkey's Van province: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Nine people have died after an earthquake struck eastern Turkey, close to the Iranian border.

The Turkish health ministry said three of those killed were children and 37 people were injured, with nine of those in critical condition.

Over 1000 buildings have collapsed due to the tremors, which also damaged buildings more than 90 km (56 miles) to the west of the Turkish city of Van and to the east in dozens of villages in Iran.

Van Governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez said no one remained trapped under debris from collapsed buildings but said there was "destruction in all four villages" he visited on Sunday morning and added: "The damage caused loss of life."

Health minister Fahrettin Koca told local media 25 ambulances, a medical helicopter and 13 emergency teams have been dispatched.

Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) has begun rescue work in villages affected by the quake, said interior minister Suleyman Soylu.

In villages in Iran which were affected, state television reported 75 people were injured including six in hospital, but there were no fatalities.

An Iranian official told state television that rescue teams had been sent out to Iran's West Azarbaijan province.

According to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre, Sunday’s quake had a depth of five kilometres.

Iran and Turkey are among the most vulnerable countries to earthquakes in the world due to major fault lines going through both countries.

Additional reporting by agencies

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