The earthquake was followed by a series of powerful aftershocks, also centred north of Van, including two of magnitude 5.6 soon after the quake and one of 6.0 late on Sunday.
Van is a city in southeastern Turkey and is located on the eastern shore of Lake Van. Earthquake appears to have occurred near the
junction of two mountain belts, the Zagros and the Alborz ranges, that have been produced by this collision.
Lighter but well-felt ground motions spread much farther across the region, extending into surrounding countries such as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iran, Georgia, Syria and Iraq.
Information about death toll is changing minute by minute. According to the Anatolian News Agency 1150 people were injured in the earthquake adding that 970 buildings were demolished.
Reactions to Turkey earthquake on Twitter:
Many countries offer help and condolences to Turkey after the
earthquake: Azerbaijan, The United States, Britain, Greece, Pakistan, Israel, Ireland, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Bulgaria,
Georgia, China, Ukraine, Russia, Canada, South Korea, Japan,
Iran, Kosovo, the EU, NATO and the UN. Israel also had offered its assistance but Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Ankara has declined this offer.
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. A magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Izmit, Turkey, killed more than 17,000 people in 1999, according to the USGS. A magnitude 7.2
tremor in Duzce the same year killed 894 people, the USGS reported.