Many were sleeping when the earthquake occurred.
– We woke up to loud noises and shaking. We went out, and now we are waiting outside, said Fatma Colak, who lives in Düzce province, where the epicenter is located.
According to American geologists at the USGS, the quake had a magnitude of 6.1, while Turkish authorities have stated that the magnitude was 5.9.
Tremors could be felt in both the capital Ankara and Istanbul, which is 17 miles west of the epicenter. More than 100 aftershocks have been reported.
The earthquake caused power outages in the area, mayor Faruk Özlü in Düzce told TV channel NTV. Schools in the affected areas were closed on Wednesday.
So far, no serious material damage has been reported, other than the fact that several outbuildings have collapsed. But authorities plan to inspect some 8,000 buildings to see if they have any damage that could cause them to collapse.
In 1999, northwestern Turkey was hit by two very strong earthquakes less than three months apart. The former was measured at 7.4 and hit, among others, the large city of Izmit. More than 17,000 people lost their lives, 40,000 were injured, and nearly 300,000 homes were destroyed.
The second quake was measured at 7.2. The first thing that caused about 800 people to lose their lives was, among others, Düzce, which was hit by an earthquake on Wednesday.
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