Three Brits are missing following mega Turkey-Syria earthquake, government confirms
Three British nationals are missing following the earthquakes which struck south-eastern Turkey and Syria.
Addressing the House of Commons this afternoon, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the Foreign Office was supporting 35 Brits affected in region.
Mr Cleverly said: ‘As of this morning, we know that three British nationals are missing and the Foreign Office’s Crisis Response Hub is working to support the at least 35 British nationals who have been directly affected by these earthquakes.
‘We assess that the likelihood of large-scale British casualties remains low.’
The Turkish government is requesting international assistance ‘on a scale that matches the enormity of the situation that they are facing’, the Foreign Secretary has said.
Emergency rescue members search for people in a destroyed building in Adana, Turkey, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly made the announcement in the House of Commons and said the Foreign Office was supporting 35 Brits in Turkey
People walk along a street strewn with debris as they look for relatives in Hatay, the day after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country’s southeast on February 7, 2023
At least 5,100 people have died across Turkey and Syria since the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday.
The World Health Organisation has warned that the death toll could rise as high as 20,000 as search and rescue operations continue across the region
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Updating the Commons on the UK response to the Turkey and Syria earthquake, the Foreign Secretary said: ‘Across the region inhabited by more than 12 million people, more than 6,000 buildings have collapsed. Electricity and gas infrastructure has been severely damaged.
‘Many of the 3.5 million Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey reside in the affected provinces. Turkey’s outstanding disaster relief response capability has been severely tested by the sheer scale of this catastrophe.
‘The Turkish government has declared a state of emergency and they are requesting international assistance on a scale that matches the enormity of the situation that they are facing.
‘Turkey will lead the disaster relief response in the areas of Syria where it has the presence.’
The UK has joined the emergency international aid effort, sending a team of 76 experts and specialists.
The team, who are equipped with life-saving equipment and rescue dogs, was due to arrive near the Syrian border in Gaziantep last night.
Four Lincolnshire firefighters and Colin the search and rescue dog are part of the 76-strong team from the UK requested to assist in rescue efforts following two earthquakes in Turkey
An aerial view shows collapsed buildings after an earthquake in Hatay, Turkey February 7, 2023
Rishi Sunak yesterday paid tribute to the rescue effort, adding: ‘The UK stands ready to help in whatever way we can.’
Across Europe, 13 nations have offered their assistance to Turkey, including its historic rivals Greece.
Kyiv said it would mobilise rescue workers to Turkey, even though it is set for further military onslaughts from Russia.
The EU said it would activate its Copernicus satellite system to provide emergency mapping, as well as mobilised search and rescue teams.
The US is also sending a team to help with search and rescue efforts.
Russia said it would send support to Syria, with Israel announcing its intention to send humanitarian support to the country despite historic enmity.
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