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Mitsotakis visits earthquake-striken Samos, calls for damage evaluation

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the eastern Aegean island of Samos on Saturday to inspect the damages caused by a powerful earthquake that killed two teenagers and raised several old buildings to the ground.

Mitsotakis presided over a meeting of government and local officials whom he urged to evaluate the damages in infrastructure.

“The first thing I want to understand is to have a complete picture of the extent of the damages to private property and public infrastructure,” he stressed at the start of the meeting which included Deputy Civil Protection minister Nikos Hardalias.

Officials also discussed the immediate next steps that need to be taken as well as medium-term interventions required mainly on infrastructure.

He then inspected damages at the towns of Vathi and Karlovasi.

During his visit, Mitsotakis also met with the parents of the two teenagers who died when a wall collapsed during Friday’s 6.7-magnitude tremor and expressed his condolences and deep sorrow.

Meanwhile, the municipalities of eastern and western Samos declared a state of emergency for six months (until 30 April 2021).

The island of Chios, which suffered damages by the earthquake, also declared a state of emergency.

Rescue efforts continued apace in Izmir

Rescue efforts continued apace in the western Turkish city of Izmir on Saturday, a day after a powerful earthquake hit the Aegean Sea, causing buildings to come crashing down and claiming the lives of at least 39 people, 37 people Turkey and 2 in Greece. At least 885 people were injured in Turkey.

A total of 20 buildings were seriously damaged in Izmir by the tremor on Friday afternoon, according to Izmir Mayor Tunc Soyer, the majority of them in the Bayrakli district.

Search-and-rescue operations remained underway in nine buildings as of Saturday afternoon, while operations have been completed in eight other buildings, Turkey’s disaster agency said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that 103 people have been rescued from the quake’s rubble.

*This is a developing story

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