19 injured because of strong earthquake in Turkey

A magnitude-5.9 earthquake, the fourth strong temblor to rock a western Turkish city, shook already terrified residents in their beds early Friday. At least 19 people injured themselves when they jumped from windows or balconies in panic, while an elderly man died of a heart attack at the stairs of his apartment building.

Authorities reported minor earthquake damage in and around the Aegean port city of Izmir. Gov. Oguz Kagan Kksal of Izmir province said the roofs of five buildings in the city had been damaged.

Nineteen people were hospitalized, some with broken bones after jumping from windows or balconies, and others after suffering panic attacks, the Anatolia news agency reported Friday.

A 68-year-old man died of a heart attack as he attempted to escape his apartment building. His body was found in the stairs of the building, Anatolia reported.

Some 20 traffic accidents occurred in Izmir, as residents hurried to leave their houses after the quake, police chief Halil Tatas said.

The quake was centered in the town of Seferihisar, just outside Izmir, the Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory said. However, it was felt as far away as in parts of Istanbul and on the Greek islands of Chios and Mytilini, near the Turkish coast.

There were no reports of damage or injuries in Greece.

Seismologists warned residents to expect more temblors and not to enter damaged houses, according to the AP.

Schools were ordered closed for Friday for inspections by experts.

A string of earthquakes shook Izmir on Monday with magnitudes of 5.9, 5.7 and 5.6.

Izmir is an Aegean important port and Turkey's third largest city.

Quakes are frequent in Turkey, which lies atop the active North Anatolian fault. Ruptures in the fault caused two quakes in August and November of 1999 that killed some 18,000 people and devastated large parts of northwestern Turkey.