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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Ramaphosa, UN express support for Turkey and Syria as emergency response is launched

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed sadness at the death of over 2000 people in Turkey and Syria following an earthquake which affected the two countries on Monday.

It has been reported that so far over 2 300 people have died. The World Health Organisation has warned the death toll could still rise significantly.

Rescue operations are under way in cities and districts that have been ravaged by the tremor.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was behind the people of Turkey and Syria after this tragedy.

“My heart goes out to the people of Turkey and Syria in this hour of tragedy. The UN is fully committed to supporting the responses. Our teams are on the ground assessing the needs and providing assistance, said Guterres.

He called on the international community to provide aid and care to victims of the tragedy.

Various teams from the UN were already on the ground to help.

A number of countries have also sent their messages of support to Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Ramaphosa said this was tragic and had caused extensive damage to infrastructure and huge loss of life.

“Our nation and government are deeply saddened by the unthinkable loss of life in Turkey and Syria and by the vast damage to social and economic infrastructure with which the two governments and populations are now confronted.

“Our hearts go out to families who have lost loved ones or are searching for relatives and we wish injured survivors a full recovery,” said Ramaphosa.

US President Joe Biden also paid tribute to those who have died in the earthquake.

He said he had asked his officials to look at the situation and provide the necessary support.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. I have directed my team to continue to closely monitor the situation in co-ordination with Turkey and provide any and all needed assistance,” said Biden.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also said his thoughts and prayers were with the people of Turkey and Syria.

He said his country was ready to help in any way it could.

Brazil President Lula da Silva also expressed concern at the death toll in Turkey and Syria after the earthquake.

“We look with concern at the news coming from Turkey and Syria, after the earthquake of great magnitude. Brazil expresses its solidarity with the people of both countries, with the families of the victims and all those who lost their homes in this tragedy,” said Lula.

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