5.4-magnitude earthquake hits eastern Turkey; 5 injured

A moderately strong earthquake has hit eastern Turkey, causing damage to some homes and injuring five people

ANKARA, Turkey -- A moderately strong earthquake hit southeast Turkey on Thursday, causing damage to some homes and slightly injuring five people.

The 5.4-magnitude quake struck the town of Ozalp, in Van province, near Turkey’s border with Iran, at a depth of 6.9 kilometers (4.3 miles), Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said.

It was felt in neighboring provinces, HaberTurk news channel reported.

The governor of Van, Mehmet Emin Bilmez, said the quake caused “moderate” or “strong” damage to homes in some 15 neighborhoods in Ozalp as well as in a dozen nearby villages.

Five people were hospitalized with slight injuries after trying to to escape damaged structures, the governor said. “No citizen was trapped under rubble," he said.

Turkey is crossed by two major fault lines, and earthquakes are frequent in the country. Turkey’s worst quake in decades was in 1999, when a pair of strong earthquakes struck in the northwest, killing around 18,000 people.