Gun attack kills at least 35 at Istanbul nightclub

ATTENTION – VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH An injured woman is carried to an ambulance from a nightclub where a gun attack took place during a New Year party in Istanbul, Turkey, January 1, 2017. Murat Ergin/Ihlas News Agency via REUTERS

A gunman shot his way into an Istanbul nightclub packed with New Year’s revellers early on Sunday, killing at least 35 people and wounding more than 40 in what the provincial governor described as a terrorist attack.

The assailant shot a police officer and a civilian as he entered the Reina nightclub before opening fire at random inside. The club lies on the shore of the Bosphorus Strait in the Ortakoy district of Turkey’s most populous city.

“A terrorist with a long-range weapon … brutally and savagely carried out this incident by firing bullets on innocent people who were there solely to celebrate the New Year and have fun,” Sahin told reporters at the scene.

Around 500-600 people were thought to have been in the club when the attack happened at around 1:15 a.m. (2230 GMT), broadcaster CNN Turk said. Some jumped into the waters of the Bosphorus to save themselves and were being rescued by police.

Dozens of ambulances and police vehicles were dispatched to the club in Ortakoy, a cosmopolitan neighbourhood nestled under one of three bridges crossing the Bosphorus, and home to clubs, restaurants and art galleries.

Reina is one of Istanbul’s best-known nightclubs, popular with locals and tourists alike.

Turkey, part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, faces multiple security threats including spillover from the war in neighbouring Syria. It has seen repeated attacks and bombings blamed on Islamic State as well as Kurdish militants in recent months.

Magnitude 7.7 earthquake hits off Chilean coast

(CNN)A magnitude 7.7 earthquake occurred off the coast of southern Chile Sunday, 40 km (about 25 miles) southwest of Puerto Quellon, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami threat message for parts of the Pacific Ocean close to the earthquake. Tsunami waves 1-3 meters above tide level are possible on parts of the Chilean coast, according to the center.
The Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Chilean Navy issued a tsunami alert for the region of Los Lagos.
Meanwhile, Chile’s Ministry of the Interior and Public Security has asked people to leave the beach areas of the regions of Bio Bio, La Araucania, Los Rios and Aysen near the quake zone.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet expressed support to the people of her country through a tweet posted shorty after the quake hit.
“Much strength and mood to the compatriots affected by the earthquake in Chile and other areas of the south! Emergency protocols are already operating,” Bachelet tweeted.
Chile sits on an arc of volcanoes and fault lines circling the Pacific Ocean known as the “Ring of Fire.”
The area experiences frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Since 1973, Chile has had more than a dozen quakes of magnitude 7.0 and above.
In February 2010, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake killed more than 700 people and affected more than 2 million others, according to Chilean officials.
That quake struck off the Pacific coast about 60 miles northwest of Chillan, Chile, at a depth of nearly 22 miles, the USGS said.
The city of Concepcion, Chile, and the Maule and Bio Bio regions were devastated, with buildings in ruins and roads left unpassable.
In the quake’s immediate aftermath, more than 1.5 million people were without power in and around Santiago.

 

A road in Tarahuin, ChiloƩ Island, damaged by the earthquake on Sunday. Photograph: Alvaro Vidal/EPA