1131 GMT April 03, 2020
The quake centered west of the Iranian city in West Azarbaijan Province and affected villages in the Turkish province of Van.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told a news conference that three children and four adults were killed in Turkey’s Baskule district. Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca later updated the number of fatalities to nine and wrote on Twitter that 37 people were injured, including nine in a critical but not life-threatening condition.
Turkish broadcaster NTV showed images of locals and soldiers digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings as families fearing further tremors sat in snowy streets. The EMSC reported several further quakes that measured up to magnitude 4.4.
The effects of the quake hit four villages in Van. Seven of the fatalities occurred in Ozpinar village, where Soylu said search and rescue teams had arrived. He added that the quake caused 1,066 buildings to collapse while the Education Ministry said a number of schools were damaged.
Emergency teams have been sent to the remote mountainous region.
In Iran, the earthquake affected 43 villages in the mountainous Qotour area. IRNA reported that at least 75 people had been injured, six of whom were hospitalized.
According to the European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC), the quake, which happened at 9:22 a.m. local time (0552GMT), had a depth of five kilometers (three miles).
Iran is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, being crossed by several major fault lines that cover at least 90% of the country. As a result, earthquakes in Iran occur often and are destructive.
On November 12, 2017, the western province of Kermanshah was hit by a major 7.3-magnitude quake that killed 620 people.
The quake-hit region Turkey also has a history of powerful earthquakes. Last month a quake centered on the eastern Turkish city of Elazig killed more than 40 people. In 2011, more than 600 were killed when a quake struck north of Van Province’s capital.
IRNA, Tasnim News Agency, and AP contributed to this story.