New Delhi: At least 196 aftershocks were felt with 23 hitting over magnitude 4 after a massive earthquake with a magnitude of 7 on Richter Scale \struck the Aegean Sea and rattled the coastal cities of Western Turkey and Greece on Friday. The death toll stands at 19 at present, including one who drowned, while over 709 people were injured.Also Read - Tiger 3: Salman Khan-Katrina Kaif Wrap Up Shoot In Turkey, Fans Are All Excited

Scores of buildings were seen crumbling down in the Turkish resort city of Izmir where the powerful quake caused a sea surge leading to floods. Also Read - From Compulsory Leaves to Forced Resignations, How Countries Making COVID Vaccines Must For Citizens

On the Greek island of Samos, the damage was reported in buildings and the road network, while a tsunami warning was issued, with residents told to stay away from the coast. The water rose above the dock in the main harbour of Samos and flooded the street. Also Read - International Flights From Kabul’s Hamid Karzai Airport to India, Other Countries To Resume In 3 Days: Report

Search and rescue operation was underway. At least 38 ambulances, two ambulance helicopters and 35 medical rescue teams were working in the Turkish city, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted.

The earthquake was felt across the eastern Greek islands and as far as the Greek capital, Athens, and in Bulgaria. In Turkey, it was also felt across the regions of Aegean and Marmara, including Istanbul.

Izmir Gov. Yavuz Selim Kosger said at least 70 people had been rescued from the wreckage. He said four buildings were destroyed and more than 10 collapsed, while others also were damaged. Turkish media showed wreckage of a multiple-story building, with people climbing it to start rescue efforts. A cloud of smoke rose from several spots.

Videos on Twitter showed flooding in the Seferihisar district, and Turkish officials and broadcasters called on people to stay off the streets after reports of traffic congestion.

The US Geological Survey said the 7.0 magnitude quake was registered 14 kilometres (8.6 miles) off the Greek town of Karlovasi on Samos. Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency said the earthquake was centered in the Aegean at a depth of 16.5 kilometres and registered at a 6.6 magnitude.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.9, with an epicentre 13 kilometres north northeast of the Greek island of Samos. The US Geological Survey put the magnitude at 7.0.

The environment and urban planning minister, Murat Kurum, said people were trapped under the wreckage and rescue efforts were underway.

Greek seismologist Akis Tselentis told Greek state broadcaster ERT that due to the shallow depth of its epicentre roughly 10 kilometres potentially powerful aftershocks could be expected for several weeks, or even a month, to come.