Turkey: Şanlıurfa building collapses hours after earthquake
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Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has said the UK “stands ready to provide assistance” to Turkey and Syria after the countries were struck by a massive earthquake which has killed hundreds. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck in the early hours of this morning (Feb 06).
“Tragic loss of life in the Türkiye and Syria earthquake,” wrote Mr Cleverly on Twitter at 7.35am.
“Our condolences go to the families of those who died and our thoughts are with the survivors.
“The UK stands ready to provide assistance.”
The catastrophe, which struck while people were asleep at 4.17am local time, was centred on Southern Turkey and Syria but also felt in closeby countries Lebanon, Gaza and Cyprus.
Turkish authorities recently reported at least 284 people have been killed with hundreds more thought to be trapped under over 1,700 collapsed buildings.
Syrian authorities reported a further 230 deaths from the earthquake.
According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, the countries were hit by more than 40 aftershocks.
Turkey has scrambled rescue teams and supply aircraft as it declares a “level 4 alarm” and has called for international support. Vice President Fuat Oktay confirmed nearly 900 buildings were destroyed in the areas Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras, leaving the country with a total of 1,718 collapsed buildings.
“We hope that we will get through this disaster together as soon as possible and with the least damage,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In Syria, the quake was felt on the country’s West coast from Latakia to Damascus, the capital of Syria, as well as other major population centres around the country.
Earlier today, Syrian state media reported the collapse of a large number of buildings in the province of Aleppo.
A member of the Syrian White Helmets humanitarian group sent out an emotional plea which finished with a tearful, heartbreaking request for help.
“Many families are under the rubble,” a spokesperson for the group said.
“Our team’s trying to save them, to save all the people from under the rubble with all casualties but it’s a very difficult task for us. We need help, we need the international community to do something to help us to support us. We need help from everyone to save our people.”
Syria: White Helmets respond after earthquake strikes region
Turkey: Fatal earthquake kills hundreds
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