A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck eastern Turkey at 8.55 pm local time (17:55:10 GMT) on Friday, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) reported. The epicentre was located 210 kilometres northeast of Gaziantep and 10 kilometres north of Doganyol, at a depth of two kilometres.
According to the Turkish minister of health, at least 19 citizens have been killed and more than 770 injured in the quake so far.
"We have lost 19 citizens. We have 221 injured in Malatya and 551 in Elazig", said Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca.
Earlier, it was reported that the quake has killed at least 18 people and left another 553 injured so far, Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.
At least 30 people are reported to be still under the debris in Elazig, while the officials say the number of casualties may increase.
According to the EMSC, which has visualised a map of the affected regions, the quake may have been felt by around 120 million people.
Several buildings have either collapsed or been seriously damaged as a result of the quake.
BREAKING - A massive earthquake of magnitude 6.8 shocks eastern Turkey's Elazığ province.— modi (@modrunaway) January 24, 2020
Several buildings have collapsed or sustained damages following the quake. pic.twitter.com/W7sOPKeqQJ
Elazığ Havalimanı— HavArenaMedya (@HavArenaMedya) January 24, 2020
Elazığ'da meydana gelen 6.8 büyüklüğündeki deprem sonrası Elazığ Havalimanı'ndan görüntüler sizlerle pic.twitter.com/0lYrSdujs1
Emergency teams rushed to the rescue, including Red Crescent (Kizilay) and the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, cited by the Anadolu Agency.
Erdogan also said that the minister of environment and urban planning, the health and the interior ministers are to be sent to the region to address the aftermath of the quake.
#Elazığ’da meydana gelen ve pek çok ilimizde hissedilen depremin en az kayıpla atlatılması ve vatandaşlarımızın can güvenliğinin sağlanması için ilgili kurumlarımız gerekli tüm tedbirleri almaktadır. Çevre ve Şehircilik, İçişleri ve Sağlık Bakanlarımızı bölgeye gönderdik.— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) January 24, 2020
A video has been shared on social media showing the moment the quake shook Elazıg province while a TV programme is on air.
Another video capturing kitchen stuff trembling and falling down inside a house in Elazıg has also gone viral.
Earthquakes under 6.0 magnitude are typical for Turkey, which is located in a seismically active zone. However, the country has also suffered extremely powerful quakes in its history, with the latest hitting the western province of Manisa just two days ago.