Thousands flee homes in Fethiye after tsunami rumor

Many people fled their homes after a rumor of a tsunami spread throughout Fethiye district of Muğla on Wednesday. (Photo: AA)

June 14, 2012, Thursday/ 12:35:00

Amidst aftershocks following a 6.0-magnitude earthquake that occurred off the coast of the Fethiye district in Turkey's Mediterranean region on Sunday, people fled their homes after a rumor of a tsunami spread throughout the district.

Sunday's quake was felt in Muğla as well as many other neighboring provinces in the Aegean and Mediterranean region. No damages or casualties were initially reported, but the tremor caused much panic in the resort town and neighboring districts. Several beaches were evacuated after the quake.

Furthermore, rumors spread in Fethiye that a tsunami was expected after the water along the shoreline receded 50 meters on Wednesday night. Many fled to higher ground with their valuables. However, some locals told the press that the rumor may have been started by thieves who wanted to take advantage of the panic following the quake.

Earthquakes are frequent in Turkey, which is crossed by several fault lines. Small earthquakes are a near daily occurrence. Most recently, some 650 people were killed in two earthquakes that hit the eastern province of Van on Oct. 21 and Nov. 9 of last year, leaving thousands homeless.

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