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Turkey Confirms Eight Dead After Iran Border Earthquake

BEVERLY HILLS, February 23 (THEWILL) – Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Sunday eight people were killed in eastern Turkey after a 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit neighbouring Iran, the official Anadolu news agency reported.

He said three of the dead were children, adding that some other people were believed to be trapped under the rubble.

Turkish broadcaster NTV showed images of damage in several villages in Van province on the Iran border.

“Search and rescue efforts are ongoing,” Soylu said.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 21 people were injured and eight of them were in critical condition, according to Anadolu.

The epicentre of the quake, which struck at 9:23 am (0553 GMT), was near the Iranian village of Habash-e Olya, less than 10 kilometres (six miles) from the border, according to the US Geological Survey.

The earthquake had a depth of six kilometres, according to Tehran University’s Seismological Centre.

It injured at least 25 people and damaged a number of houses in four villages of Iran’s West Azerbaijan province, Mojtaba Khaledi, a spokesman for the country’s emergency services, told AFP.

Anadolu said the quake caused damage in several villages in  Van province.

The province was struck earlier this month by two avalanches which killed 41 people.

In 2011, an earthquake measuring 7.1 hit near the cities of Van and Ercis in eastern Turkey, killing more than 500 people.