24 Ukrainians reported to be out of contact in quake-hit Turkey, Foreign Ministry says

6 February, 05:40 PM
Earthquake in Turkey (Photo:REUTERS/Sertac Kayar)

Earthquake in Turkey (Photo:REUTERS/Sertac Kayar)

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has received 24 reports of losses of communication with Ukrainians living in Turkey in the area where two large earthquakes struck on Feb. 6, ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko has said.

The quakes hit the border area of Turkey and Syria in the province of Gaziantep, the first in the early hours of Feb. 6. Measured at magnitude 7.8, it was one of the most powerful in the last 100 years.

The second earthquake occurred less than 12 hours after the first, and at magnitude 7.7, was almost as strong.

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The Associated Press has reported the latest death toll from the quakes to be more than 2,300.

No information about Ukrainian casualties has been received so far.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has taken the issue of providing assistance to Ukrainians in Turkey under his personal control. An operational headquarters has been set up at the Ukrainian Embassy in Turkey, and resources at the Consulate General in Istanbul and the Consulate in Antalya are also being deployed. Search and rescue operations are ongoing.

"Currently, we have 24 appeals about a lack of communication with Ukrainian citizens living in the disaster area,” said Nikolenko.

“All information was promptly relayed to the Turkish side. The whereabouts of our citizens are being established.”

To get help, please contact the hotline of the Embassy of Ukraine in Turkey (+90 539 550 98 98) or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (+380 44 238 15 88).

Across the border from Turkey, at least 592 people were killed in Syria (mainly in the areas of Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and Tartus). The White Helmets (Syrian Civil Defense) reported at least 221 casualties in opposition-controlled areas in northwestern Syria. More than 7,000 people have been reported as injured in both countries.

Hundreds of people may be trapped under the rubble. More than 45 countries, including Ukraine, have offered to help Ankara. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced his readiness to send a large group of rescuers to eliminate the consequences of the disaster.

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