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Türkiye, Syria Quake: International Support and Offers of Aid

Türkiye, Syria Quake: International Support and Offers of Aid

Monday, 6 February, 2023 - 09:45
Rescue workers search for survivors under the rubble of a collapsed building in Diyarbakir, southeastern Türkiye, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. (AP)

Governments and international organizations have responded with offers of support after an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck central Türkiye and northwest Syria. Hundreds of people have been killed.

WHO chief Tedros said its network of emergency medical teams has been activated to provide essential health care for the injured and most vulnerable affected by the earthquake.

Russia said it is readying rescue teams to fly to Türkiye to help earthquake victims there and in Syria.

A minister of emergency situations, Aleksandr Kurenkov, said teams of 100 search and rescue personnel are on standby to be sent to Türkiye with two Il-76 transport planes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also offered condolences in telegrams to the leaders of Syria and Türkiye and expressed readiness to help.

The offer was made despite Russia's international isolation led by Western nations over Moscow's war on Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sent a message of support to Türkiye to offer assistance in the aftermath of the earthquake.

“I am shocked to learn of deaths and injuries of hundreds of people as a result of the earthquake in Türkiye,” Zelenskyy wrote in a tweet.

“We send our condolences to the families of the victims and wish the injured a speedy recovery. At this time, we stand by the friendly Turkish people and are ready to provide the necessary assistance.”

Ukraine has close ties with Türkiye, which helped negotiate a Black Sea grain agreement last summer to resume vital exports as the war in the country continues.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says a search and rescue team from the Netherlands will travel to the region of southeastern Türkiye and northern Syria.

“Terrible news about the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria. Our thoughts are with all the victims of this severe natural disaster,” Rutte said in a tweet Monday. He said he had sent condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Dutch organization Urban Search and Rescue sends teams, including rescue workers, construction experts, doctors, nurses and sniffer dogs to the scenes of disasters around the world.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has also offered help.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says authorities are preparing to send aid and assistance to Türkiye. He said Israel was readying to send search and rescue teams and medical aid, after a request from Türkiye’s government.

The two countries are in the process of mending ties after years of tensions.

Writing in Turkish, Israeli President Isaac Herzog offered help in a message on Twitter, adding: “The State of Israel is always ready to send aid by any means possible. Our hearts go out to the families and Turkish people who are grieving at this painful time.”

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry has offered condolences on the loss of life in Türkiye and Syria.

The neighboring country said it is sending rescue teams to Türkiye to assist local authorities there to deal with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.

Bulgaria’s defense minister announced that two Spartan military transport aircraft will take off to the city of Adana in southeast Türkiye with emergency teams of firefighters, rescue workers and medics.

Türkiye’s neighbor Greece and other countries in the region have offered to send immediate assistance to help with the rescue effort.

“Greece is mobilizing its resources and will assist immediately ... (we are) deeply saddened by the devastating earthquake disaster,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wrote in a tweet.

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