Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has announced that nine people have been killed in eastern Turkey including three children after the quake erupted in the early hours of Sunday morning.
An earthquake centred just east across the border of neighbouring Iran has erupted west of the Iranian city of Khoy.
The Turkish Health Minister said at least 37 people were injured, including nine in critical but not life-threatening condition.
The quake has heavily affected villages in the Turkish province of Van and has caused the deaths of at least six adults and three children according to Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.
He said the quake has caused 1,066 buildings to collapse and the Education Ministry said a number of schools have been damaged.
Iran’s official IRNA news agency said at least 75 people had been injured inside Iran, six of whom were hospitalised.
A second earthquake struck later on into Sunday evening in the same area in Iran, according to the country’s seismology centre.
The U.S. Geological Survey has put the second earthquake at a higher magnitude at 6.0.
The first quake happened at 9:22 a.m. local time (0552 GMT) at a depth of 5 kilometres (3 miles) according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Center.
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Iran’s seismology centre said the second quake hit the Zarabad district at at 7:30pm local time (16:00 GMT) at a depth of 28 kilometres (17 miles).
The USGS said the first quake was at a depth of 6.4 kilometres (4miles) and the second was at 10 kilometres (6 miles).
The effects of the quake hit four villages in Van.
Seven of the fatalities occurred in Ozpinar village, the Turkish Interior Minister says that search and rescue teams are on site.
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Koca said 25 ambulances, a medical helicopter and 13 emergency teams had been sent to the region.
Emergency teams were sent to the remote mountainous region, and both locals and soldiers have been photographed digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings, with families sat in snowy streets fearing further tremors to come.
The Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) said 144 tents for families affected by the earthquake had been dispatched.
IRNA said the first earthquake affected 43 villages in the mountainous Qotour area.
The EMSC reported several further quakes that measured up to magnitude 4.4.
The region has a history of powerful earthquakes.
In 2011, more than 600 were killed when a quake struck north of Van province’s capital.
Just last month, a quake centred on the eastern Turkish city of Elazig killed more than 40 people.
The tremors caused buildings to collapse and resulted in at least 29 deaths.
What’s more, the strong earthquake resulted in more than 1,000 people being injured.
The powerful tremors could also be felt in the neighbouring areas Syria, Lebanon and Iran.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority reported more than 200 aftershocks were recorded following the incident.
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