Deadly Earthquake: PMB condoles with Turkey as quake death toll rises
President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) has commiserated with the governments and people of Turkey and Syria, and those who lost relatives and friends in the devastating earthquake in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep.
The President in a statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina, wished those injured a speedy recovery and assured that the prayers and thoughts of Nigerians are with the many affected by this severe disaster and its aftershocks.
As a steadfast friend to Turkey and Syria, President Buhari said Nigeria is ready to offer its full support in any way possible.
Recall that in the early hours of Monday, more than 2,700 people were killed and thousands more injured after a powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Turkey and Syria. Officials continue to update the death toll as rescue efforts continue.
The quake, one of the strongest to hit the region in more than 100 years, struck 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi, in Turkey’s Gaziantep province, at a depth of 24.1 kilometers (14.9 miles), the US Geological Survey said.
Multiple strong aftershocks have been felt across the region for hours after the first quake, including a severe quake measuring magnitude 7.5.
Tremors from the deadly quake – which lasted about a minute and could be Turkey’s largest ever – were felt as far away as Egypt, Lebanon and the island of Cyprus, while a tsunami warning was briefly issued by authorities in Italy along the country’s coast.
The quake was centred north of Gaziantep, Turkey, which is about 60 miles from the Syrian border and has a population of bout 2 million. The region is home to large numbers of Syrian refugees.
It struck at 04:17 am local time (0117 GMT) at a depth of about 11 miles, the US Geological Survey said. A strong 6.7 aftershock rumbled about 10 minutes later, causing more havoc. Turkey’s own agency said 40 aftershocks were felt.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management agency said the earthquake killed scores of people across seven Turkish provinces.
Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that ‘search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched’ to the areas hit by the devastating quake.
‘We hope that we will get through this disaster together as soon as possible and with the least damage,’ he wrote on Twitter. He urged people not to enter damaged buildings due to the risks, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.
‘Our priority is to bring out people trapped under ruined buildings and to transfer them to hospitals,’ he said.
At least 2,800 rescue teams have been deployed across Turkey, and the Turkish armed forces have set up an air corridor to enable search and rescue teams to reach the affected zones, the country’s defence ministry said on Monday.
‘We mobilised our planes to send medical teams, search and rescue teams and their vehicles to the earthquake zone,’ Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement.
Kahramanmaras Governor Omer Faruk Coskun said it was too early to estimate the death toll because so many buildings had been destroyed.
‘It is not possible to give the number of dead and injured at the moment because so many buildings have been destroyed,’ Coskun said. ‘The damage is serious.’
People trying to leave the quake-stricken regions caused traffic jams, hampering efforts of emergency teams trying to reach the affected areas.
Authorities urged residents not to take to the roads.