ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A strong earthquake hit western Turkey on Thursday, damaging homes, causing residents to run into the streets in panic and injuring over 20 people.
The quake was centered on the town of Bozkurt, in Denizli province, according to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, AFAD. It said the quake struck at 2:25 p.m. (1125 GMT) with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0. The town is 600 kilometers (375 miles) south of Istanbul.
The Istanbul-based Kandilli seismology center said the quake was less powerful, measuring it at 5.7 magnitude.
AFAD said 23 people sought medical care or were hospitalized after the quake.
The mayor of Bozkurt, Birsen Celik, said the quake knocked down two houses in the town and damaged several other homes.
“The earthquake lasted more than 15 or 20 seconds,” she said. “Several houses have been damaged, roofs have caved in and there are deep cracks in walls.”
“Thank God, despite the fact that one or two houses collapsed, there were no cases of death or serious injury,” Celik added.
People ran out into the streets in panic, she said, adding that residents were being urged not to return to damaged homes.
Scores of houses were also damaged in the nearby town of Tutluca, but no one was hurt there, according to its mayor, Hudai Karasahin.The quake also toppled the minaret of a mosque in the village of Agdan.
Television footage showed the earthquake interrupting a group of teenagers playing table tennis, with the youths rushing under the pingpong tables for safety. Another video showed a couple in Denizli caught up in the quake in the middle of their wedding ceremony.
The quake was felt in the neighboring provinces of Antalya, Mugla, Isparta and Burdur, where people also ran out of their homes. It was followed by some 20 aftershocks, AFAD said.
Turkey is prone to earthquakes. In 1999, a magnitude-7.4 quake killed more than 17,000 people in northwestern Turkey.