Kathimerini Greece Newsroom
Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis offered his condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the deaths caused by the powerful earthquake that struck the eastern Aegean island of Samos and the city of Izmir on Friday.
“I just called President Erdogan to offer my condolences for the tragic loss of life from the earthquake that struck both our countries. Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together,” Mitsotakis said in a tweet.
Earlier, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias expressed the country's readiness to assist in search and rescue operations in Turkey.
Dendias told Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu Greece is ready “to immediately send to Turkey members of the disaster relief unit, in order to help in extracting people trapped in buildings,” according to a Foreign Ministry tweet.
Six people were killed in Izmir after buildings came crashing down while a tsunami slammed into coastal areas of the city and Samos.
Two school students were killed in Samos after a wall collapsed. The teens were pulled out of the rubble in the ongoing search and rescue operation that is underway on the island.
So far, eight people were reported injured in the earthquake who are being treated in a hospital and a clinic on the island. According to information, their injuries were not life threatening.
Most damages were found on old houses in the towns of Pythagorio, Karlovasi and Vathy.
Part of the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Karlovasi has collapsed. Nobody was inside the building.
The European-Mediterranean Seismological Center said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.9, with an epicenter 13 kilometers (8 miles) north-northeast of the Greek island of Samos.
The United States Geological Survey put the magnitude at 7.0.
Turkish media showed wreckage of a multiple-story building in central Izmir, with people climbing it to start rescue efforts.