Turkey: Earthquake in Kutahya province leaves two dead

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Media captionThe earthquake centred on the town of Simav damaged buildings and made many homeless

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 has struck north-west Turkey, killing at least two people and injuring 79.

The tremor struck just before midnight local time and centred on the town of Simav, in Kutahya province, some 310km (190 miles) west of the capital Ankara.

Terrified residents ran into the streets, and many spent the night in cars after being warned not to go back to their homes.

One person died after jumping from a window in panic, officials said.

Environment Minister Veysel Eroglu put the death toll at two, and said that of the 79 injured only one was in a serious condition.

Kutahya Governor Kenan Ciftci said three people had died.

State media reported that at least one derelict building collapsed and the windows in some buildings were shattered by the quake, which struck at 2315 (2015 GMT).

"It was so strong that we could not even move in the first few seconds," lawmaker Idris Bal told NTV television. "People are waiting in their cars now."

The quake was followed by around 50 aftershocks, the Kandilli observatory in Istanbul reported.

Turkey is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because it sits on major geological fault lines.

At least 51 people were killed in a 6.0 magnitude earthquake in eastern Turkey in March 2010.

Two earthquakes in 1999 with a magnitude of more than 7 killed almost 20,000 people in densely populated parts of the north-west of the country.

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