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An earthquake hits Duzce in western Turkey, causing widespread tremors and panic

An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale struck a northwestern city in Turkey in the early hours of Wednesday, causing panic among people and damage to property.

The earthquake occurred at 4:08 am local time in the village of Golkaya in the province of Duzce, located almost 200 km east of Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul.

Strong tremors were felt in the capital Ankara, Istanbul and other parts of the country. At least 35 aftershocks have been registered, the Presidency for Disaster and Crisis Management reported.

A strong earthquake woke people from their sleep, some ran out of buildings in panic or jumped from balconies and windows. There was a power outage in the region, according to reports.

Home Minister Suleyman Soylu said 22 people were being treated in hospitals for injuries sustained during the panic.

Schools in the province were closed for protective reasons, said Governor Duzce Cevdet Atay.

Some buildings in the region, including a courthouse, were damaged by high-rise bricks falling to the ground.

People used social media to share photos and videos of the damage to their homes left behind by the earthquake.

Turkey sits atop major fault lines and is often hit by earthquakes.

In August 1999, at least 17,000 people died as a result of a massive temblor that devastated the province of Kocaeli.

A few months later, in November of the same year, more than 800 people died after an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale struck the province of Duzce.

According to the city’s mayor, almost 80 percent of the buildings in Duzka were rebuilt after the deadly earthquakes.

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