ABC NEWS: 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Turkey

October 23, 2011 Updated Oct 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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ABC NEWS: 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Turkey

October 23, 2011 Updated Oct 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM EDT

By LEEZEL TANGLAO Oct. 23, 2011 ( ABCNEWS.com)
A 7.2 earthquake hit eastern Turkey today where about 45 buildings collapsed and left at least 50 people injured, officials said.

The quake struck the region at 1:41 p.m. local time. The quake was upgraded from a 6.6 to 7.3 magnitude. The U.S. Geological Survey later revised the magnitude to 7.2.

Its depth was considered shallow - 12.4 miles -- shallower than the January 2010 Haiti quake -- and more potentially destructive, combined with the poor building codes in the region.

The temblor's epicenter was in the village of Tabanli, near the city of Van -- near the Iranian border, The Associated Press reported.

Abdurrahman Antakyali, Aatolia/AP Photo
People try to save people trapped under... View Full Size

State run media reported rescue crews were working to free people were trapped under the a seven-story building that collapsed.

Residents of Van and neighboring towns poured into the streets as several strong aftershocks rock the area.

Frederike Geerdink, a journalist in Istanbul, said she didn't feel it but there are reports of a lot of damage where the quake struck.

"There's a lot of...lot of damage," she said. "Like people are in general not well prepared for earthquakes in Turkey."

Earthquakes and seismic activity is nothing new to Turkey as the area is riddled with faults.

The USGS said today's quake is biggest quake to hit in the region in more than four decades.

The last major quakes to hit the country was in 1999, where 18,000 people were killed.