At least five people were killed and two others reported missing after an avalanche hit a road in eastern Turkey, burying a snow-clearing vehicle and a minibus, according to an official on Wednesday.

The avalanche occurred late on Tuesday near the mountain-surrounded town of Bahcesehir, in Van province, which borders Iran.

According to the government Mehmet Emin Bilmez, the snow-clearing vehicle’s operator and six people inside the minibus survived. Rescuers were searching for the other two passengers, but their efforts were hampered by the weather conditions.

On January 25, at least 18 people were killed and over hundreds injured after a powerful earthquake rocked eastern Turkey as rescue teams searched through the rubble of collapsed buildings for survivors.

In Athens, the Greek premier’s office said later that Mitsotakis had spoken by phone to Erdogan.

In 2019, a landslide occurred in the Aybasti district (Ordu Province) that caused damage.

According to reports, 22 houses and 31 buildings have been destroyed in Aybasti Town. 70 homes have been evacuated from the affected area.