(Bloomberg) -- A powerful earthquake struck southern Turkey before dawn on Monday, killing at least five people and trapping an unknown number of others in pancaked apartment buildings in several provinces as rescue workers raced to save them, the government said.
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Read More: The strong earthquake toppled buildings in Turkey and was felt elsewhere in the Middle East.
The quake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.4 struck at a depth of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) with an epicenter near the city of Gaziantep, according to Turkey's Kandilli observatory based in Istanbul. GFZ Helmholtz Centre Potsdam put the magnitude of the quake at 7.7.
At least five people were confirmed dead in Osmaniye province, where 34 buildings were damaged, Osmaniye Governor Erdinc Yilmaz said.
"The quake struck at 4:17 a.m. local time," Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told a televised news conference in Ankara. "We have activated a fourth level alert, this entails international help."
He said the quake caused damage and left casualties in at least 10 provinces. These included Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Hatay, Osmaniye, Sanliurfa, Malatya, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir and Adana, authorities said.
--With assistance from Tim Smith.
(Updates throughout with details from Turkish authorities, sources)
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