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Moderate Earthquake Hits Turkey

Updated:
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) _ A moderate earthquake shook southeastern Turkey on Wednesday, injuring a woman who was trapped under rubble in one of several buildings that were damaged, officials said.

The quake registered a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 and was centered in the town of Sivrice in the province of Elazig, the Istanbul-based Kandilli observatory said. The U.S. Geological Survey put the quake's preliminary magnitude at 5.7.

Rescuers pulled the woman from beneath the rubble of a collapsed building in the village of Kayalar in Elazig province, Gov. Muammer Musmal said, adding that she was hospitalized but that her injuries were not serious.

The quake caused great panic and partly collapsed a building in the village of Kayapinar while slightly damaging a primary school and a post office in the town of Sivrice, Musmal said.

Soldiers and police were trying to reach remote mountain villages while a paramilitary helicopter made an assessment, CNN-Turk television said.

Parents rushed to schools to pick up their children in the region, the broadcaster reported. Authorities suspended classes in Sivrice and Maden after the quake.

Five aftershocks, the strongest with a magnitude of 3.6, followed as authorities warned residents not to enter damaged buildings.

The area was struck by a magnitude-5.3 quake on Feb. 9. More than two dozen people were injured in that temblor.

The latest quake was also felt in the neighboring provinces of Diyarbakir, Tunceli and Malatya, reports said.

Earthquakes are frequent in Turkey, much of which lies atop the active North Anatolian fault. Two devastating earthquakes killed about 18,000 people in northwestern Turkey in 1999.

In 2003, an earthquake measuring 6.4 magnitude collapsed a school dormitory in southeastern Bingol province, killing 83 children. The collapse was blamed on poor construction.

A magnitude-6.4 quake killed 177 people in Bingol in 1995.
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