Athens offers to assist rescue efforts in Izmir

Athens offers to assist rescue efforts in Izmir

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias expressed the country's readiness to assist in search and rescue operations in Turkey after a strong earthquake hit the eastern Aegean, causing damages and injuries on the island of Samos and mostly in the seaside city of Izmir.

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.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Center said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.9, with an epicenter 13 kilometers north-northeast of the Greek island of Samos.

The US Geological Survey put the magnitude at 7.0.

Several buildings were wrecked in Turkey’s western Izmir province, according to officials, but there was no immediate information on casualties.

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