The epicenter of the quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3 on the Richter scale, was in the town of Silivre in Elazýð province, the Ýstanbul-based Kandilli Observatory said. It struck at 04:22 a.m. and there were 22 aftershocks.
The quake was felt in neighboring provinces and in the cities of Diyarbakýr and Malatya. There are no known deaths, but at least 28 people were hospitalized after jumping from balconies and windows in fear of being trapped in their homes, Gov. Muammer Musmal said. The quake caused cracks on walls but no serious damage, he added. The Turkish Red Crescent (Kýzýlay) delivered blankets and food to the earthquake area.
Elazýð is some 750 kilometers (450 miles) southeast of Ankara. Earthquakes are frequent in Turkey, which lies on active fault lines. Two devastating earthquakes in 1999 killed some 18,000 people. After the Silivre tremor, Malatya's district of Pütürge was shaken by two earthquakes having preliminary magnitudes of 2.7 and 3.3. The epicenter of earthquakes was Tepehan. No casualties or property damage were reported after either earthquake. According to information from the Kandilli Observatory Earthquake Research Institute, the 3.3-magnitude quake occurred at 00.58 p.m. with an epicenter 5 kilometers underground.