5.8-magnitude earthquake strikes Istanbul, injuring 8

A 5.8-magnitude earthquake jolted Turkey’s biggest city of Istanbul on Thursday, wounding eight people and damaging some buildings.

The tremor took place at 13:59 p.m. local time (1059 GMT) off the Silivri district in the Marmara Sea, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said in an announcement posted on its website.

Eight people were slightly injured and several buildings damaged in the quake, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the airport in Istanbul.

At a depth of 6.99 km, the quake caused widespread panic in the metropolis of 16 million, as many people rushed to the streets immediately after it was felt.

Schools were closed as a precautionary measure, the AFAD said, advising residents not to enter damaged buildings.

Phone calls could not be made on mobile phones for a while, as people were trying to reach their loved ones and relatives.

Erdogan said 28 aftershocks have been detected after 14:00 p.m. local time.

A 4.6-magnitude earthquake occurred off the Silivri district on Tuesday with no casualties reported.

Geologists have long been expecting a strong earthquake to hit Istanbul in the fault line passing under the Marmara Sea.

In 1999, a strong earthquake struck the Kocaeli province, 100 km east of Istanbul, killing around 17,000 people.