*updated at 20:20 (CET)
A 6.4-magnitude tremor at 20:04 local time hit Turkey’s southern province of Hatay, which had already been heavily damaged by devastating 6 February earthquakes.
The epicentre of the tremor was the Samandağ district of Hatay near the Syrian border, according to Boğaziçi University Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute.
Several buildings that had already been damaged by the major earthquakes two weeks ago have collapsed, according to locals’ posts on social media.
There are reports that there are people trapped under the rubble, however, no casualties have been reported so far.
Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) warned citizens in Hatay to stay away from the coastline as a precaution against the risk of sea level rising up to 50 cm. Similar warnings have also been made for the southern provinces of Mersin and Antalya. Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay announced that warnings issued for Hatay, Mersin and Antalya as a precaution have been withdrawn after initial analysis.
The 6.4 tremor in Hatay arose from the stress transfer from the Kahramanmaraş (Mereş) earthquakes and was expected, Turkey’s top geologist Naci Görür told Halk TV, warning that Adana and Cyprus island might be the next epicentres of earthshocks.
Görür, who also warned of a quake around the Kahramanmaraş region several times before the 6 February calamities, previously said that he was expecting a new earthquake with a magnitude below 7.0 in Hatay and Adana provinces.
AFAD warned those in the earthquake area not to enter into damaged buildings and to stay away from all risky ones.
Buildings have collapsed due to the new earthquake and there are people trapped under the rubble, Hatay mayor Lütfü Savaş told NTV.
Mustafa Kemal Paşa Hospital in Antakya, is evacuated as a precaution after the tremor. Mustafa Kemal Paşa is the only remaining hospital in Hatay’s central district of Antakya to continue serving patients after the 6 February earthquakes.
Journalist Adem Metan told Halk TV that the road leading to the field hospital collapsed as a result of the strong tremor and blacked out due to a power outage.