A temblor of 5.7 magnitude strikes Sea of Marmara, shakes buildings and damages a mosque in Istanbul. Quake also felt in Tekirdag, Bursa, and Kocaeli provinces.
A strong earthquake shook buildings and damaged a mosque in Istanbul on Thursday, sending residents rushing from buildings though there were no immediate reports of mass casualties.
The Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute said the 5.7-magnitude temblor originated at a depth of 12.6 km with an epicentre 70 kilometres west of Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara, south of the town of Silivri. The quake hit at 1059 GMT (1:59 pm local time).
The United States Geological Survey also confirmed the 5.7 magnitude but at the depth of 10 km.
Landing in Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport returning from his visit to the UN General Assembly in New York, Turkey's President Erdogan said eight people were slightly injured in the earthquake.
The earthquake was also felt in nearby urban areas such as Bursa, Kocaeli, Tekirdag, Edirne, Manisa and Kirklareli.
Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) clocked the quake at 5.8 magnitude.
TRT Arabi caught the moment live during a news broadcast.
لحظات الهزة الأرضية في #إسطنبول من استوديوهات TRT عربي أثناء موجز الأخبار pic.twitter.com/XXMhH1T7E0— عربي - الآن TRT (@TRTArabi) September 26, 2019
Top section of minaret collapses
Children were evacuated from schools and city residents came outside their homes.
CNN Turk broadcast video showing the top section of a minaret at the central mosque in Istanbul's Avcilar district had collapsed.
It was not clear if the collapse caused any casualties or further damage.
"The number of risky buildings in Istanbul is making a lot of us uneasy," Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu said.
"Since I took office I have stated this is a high priority issue, it is a national issue," Imamoglu added.
Imamoglu said he was happy there was not any loss of life or major injury, based on initial reports.
Bursa announced all schools were suspended on Thursday after the quake.
The Yalova Governorship also decided on a one-day suspension of all schools, Ali Tosun, the provincial director of national education, said.
Kocaeli Governor Huseyin Aksoy and AFAD officials in Sakarya said no negative outcomes of the quake were reported so far.
Turkey is crossed by fault lines and is prone to earthquakes.
In 1999, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake in western Turkey killed more than 17,000 people.
Experts have long warned a major earthquake is expected to hit Istanbul, Turkey's most populous city with more than 15 million residents.
A smaller earthquake of 4.6 magnitude was felt in Istanbul on Tuesday.