A strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey at 17:55:10 GMT, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) reported. The epicentre of the earthquake was located 210 kilometres northeast of Gaziantep and 10 kilometres north of Doganyol, Turkey at a depth of two kilometres, according to the centre.
Eighteen people have been killed in the quake, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.
According to Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, tents and warm blankets have been sent to the region affected by the quake.
According to the EMSC, the earthquake was felt in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel.
"A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck near the city of Sivrice at 20:55 [17:50 GMT]. The epicentre was located at a depth of 7 kilometres. There is no information about any damage and victims yet", Mehmet Gulluoglu, the head of the country's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, said, as aired by the Turkish NTV broadcaster.
Turkish interior minister said earlier that "Sivrice was shaken very seriously", adding that rescue teams have been directed to the region.
According to the head of Elazıg province, emergency teams have already started working at the site.
Social media users have shared videos of furniture shaking and trembling in various Turkish cities.
A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Sivrice, a district of #Turkey's 🇹🇷 eastern city, Elazig— Saad (@SaadAbedine) January 24, 2020
Felt in Diyarbakir, Adana, Urfa, Hatay & even in #Syria's 🇸🇾 Idlib https://t.co/lSOSdEY8XChttps://t.co/JkgZcEJlN8https://t.co/r3YM014AAFhttps://t.co/T74tWdlEsX pic.twitter.com/K7mGlsEhFn
The quake follows tremors that were registered between the towns of Kirkagac and Akhisar a day earlier, according to a spokesperson for the regional authorities.
Turkey is located in a seismically active zone and often suffers from powerful earthquakes. The two deadliest quakes in the country occurred in 115 AD and 526 AD. Both disasters devastated the city of Antioch, leaving some 260,000 and 250,000 people dead, respectively.