Ankara: At least 18 people have been killed and several others were injured after a powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocked eastern Turkey.
The Sivrice district in the eastern province of Elazig was jolted at around 8.55 p.m. local time (1755 GMT) in an earthquake, which according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC), had a magnitude of 6.8 and occurred at a depth of 10 kilometers. The quake was felt in several neighboring countries.
Rescue teams from neighbouring provinces were dispatched to the affected areas, working in the dark with floodlights in the freezing cold, and Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said troops were on standby to help.
Hundreds of residents were left homeless or with damaged homes.
Turkey sits on top of two major fault-lines and earthquakes are frequent. Two strong earthquakes struck northwest Turkey in 1999, killing around 18,000 people.