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108 Killed, 1,000 Injured as Quake Jolts Turkey

June 28, 1998| From Times Wire Services

ADANA, Turkey — An earthquake jolted this southern city near the Mediterranean coast Saturday, killing at least 108 people and injuring about 1,000, including several Americans at a military base, officials said.

Among those killed in the magnitude 6.2 quake were 37 people who lived in the slums of Adana, a city of 1 million, Deputy Gov. Ardahan Totuk said. At least 30 people were reported dead in the nearby town of Ceyhan, site of an oil terminal, the Anatolian news agency said.

Totuk said 108 people had been reported killed. The number of injured had reached about 1,000, Gov. Oguz Koksal said.

It was unclear whether the oil pipeline linking Iraq to Turkey had suffered any damage.

According to an announcement from the headquarters of the U.S. Air Force in Europe, 25 people at Incirlik Air Base suffered minor injuries. The announcement did not say how many were U.S. nationals.

But a U.S. Embassy representative, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a dozen U.S. citizens were slightly injured by falling objects.

The brief U.S. statement also said the earthquake did substantial structural and electrical damage to buildings on the base.

Adana, where the quake was centered, is only 12 miles from Incirlik, which serves as a staging ground for about 45 U.S. and British jets that patrol a no-fly zone in northern Iraq. About 1,400 personnel are part of the mission.

Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and several cabinet members were to visit Adana today.

The quake rattled the neighboring provinces of Mersin, Nigde and Kayseri, as well as the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, off Turkey's southern coast. Turkish monitors also said the quake was felt in Syria and Israel.

Istanbul's Kandilli Observatory put the preliminary magnitude at 6.3. At least 16 aftershocks rocked the area after the initial quake struck about 5 p.m. It was felt at tourist resorts to the west, but there were no reports of injuries.

The first pictures from the earthquake scene appearing on state television showed badly damaged houses and rescue teams pulling a young girl from the debris.

Authorities cut power in Adana and Mersin to prevent fires.

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