The epicentre of the quake, which struck at 10:41 am (0741 GMT), was in the town of Karliova in the province of Bingol, which was hit by a series of tremors measuring up to 5.9 on the Richter scale in March, the Istanbul-based Kandilli observatory said. 

"Thirty-seven people with minor injuries were treated in hospitals," Bingol Governor Vehbi Avuc told NTV television.

"There was much panic and we are now trying to provide our citizens with psychological support."

The tremor destroyed a number of buildings that were already damaged in the earthquakes in March, Avuc said.

Damage

Several buildings in surrounding villages were damaged, he said. 

In 2003, a quake with a magnitude of 6.4 on the Richter scale left 176 dead in Bingol province, nearly half of them children asleep at a boarding school when the tremor struck.

Some 20,000 people died in two massive tremors in the country's heavily industrialised northwest in August and November 1999.

Earthquakes are frequent in Turkey, which is crossed by several seismological fault lines.