The 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit in the Aegean Sea at a depth of 16.5kms, the US Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed.
On Saturday morning, rescue workers were still digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings in search of survivors.
Officials confirmed that 10 buildings were completely destroyed in Izmir.
Turkey’s disaster and emergency management authority (AFAD) said in a statement issued early Saturday that 24 people had died in Turkey. Greek authorities said two people had so far died.
The earthquake also triggered a mini-tsunami in Izmir.
Speaking to Euronews Tonight on Saturday, the deputy director-general of the Turkish Red Crescent, Ibrahim Ozer, said that the organization has “more than 3,000 volunteers” in Izmir, who are currently providing people with “hot soups and beverages” and will keep providing assistance at least for the next 24 hours.
He added that Turkey is currently on emergency level “three”, which stands for “nationwide disaster”.
In Greece, the media reported the residents of Samos and other islands fled their homes, especially when a “mini-tsunami” occurred on the island of Samos.
Greece’s Special Department for Medical Disaster (ETIK) confirmed that two children had died on the island, in the town of Vathi.
“The two children, shortly after the earthquake were leaving their school. As they were passing a narrow street of the city, a wall from an old building collapsed and crushed them,” emergency services wrote on Facebook.
“Despite the best effort of (emergency services) EKAB rescuers to release them alive, the children did not make it,” it added.
A total of 196 aftershocks have been recorded, 23 of which were over 4.0 magnitude.