Seismograph showing earthquake
Seismograph showing earthquakeiStock

Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Friday instructed the IDF to be prepared to assist Turkey in the aftermath of the powerful earthquake that hit the country earlier in the day.

Gantz said in a statement that Israel relayed its condolences and willingness to help to the Turkish military attaché in the country.

Israel is ready to immediately dispatch a team that would assist with search and rescue operations in areas affected by the quake as well as establish a field hospital, the statement added.

"The State of Israel and the security forces will always reach out to offer humanitarian assistance to injured civilians everywhere, using the capabilities and experience gained in the IDF over the years to deal with emergencies," Gantz said.

At least 14 people were killed in Friday’s earthquake, which caused buildings to collapse.

The quake caused a mini-tsunami on the Aegean island of Samos and a sea surge that turned streets into rushing rivers in one town on Turkey's west coast.

The US Geological Survey said the 7.0 magnitude quake was registered 14 kilometers (almost nine miles) off the Greek town of Karlovasi on Samos.

Much of the damage in Turkey occurred in and around the Aegean resort city of Izmir, which has three million residents and is filled with high-rise apartment blocks.

In January, an earthquake centered in Turkey’s Elazığ Province was also felt in northern and central Israel.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)