Magnitude 5.6 earthquake strikes central Turkey causing damage to buildings

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A moderately strong earthquake struck central Turkey on Thursday, the country’s disaster management agency said, causing damage to some buildings. There were no immediate reports of any deaths or serious injuries.

The 5.6 magnitude quake hit in the town of Sulusaray, in Tokat province, some 450 kilometers (280 miles) east of the capital, Ankara, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency.

It was felt in neighboring provinces, including in Yozgat, where a two-story building collapsed, the disaster agency said.

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Several mudbrick and wooden homes and barns were damaged in the village of Bugdayli, near Sulusaray, according to Tokat’s governor Numan Hatipoglu. Earlier in the day, Sulusaray was hit by two other earthquakes, measuring magnitude 4.7 and magnitude 4.1.

“The buildings, the lampposts, everything swayed like a cradle,” said Gazi Ay, a resident of the town of Turhal, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Sulusaray.

“Everyone ran out of buildings,” he told The Associated Press by telephone, adding that many of his neighbors were too afraid to return to their homes.

Turkey lies on active fault lines and earthquakes are frequent.

A devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck parts of southern Turkey and neighboring Syria last year, killing more than 59,000 people.

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