Powerful quake kills thousands in Turkey and Syria and Fears Casualties will rise

Greek prime minister offers assistance in call with Turkey’s president

From CNN’s Hira Humayun

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he spoke to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday and offered to provide “all further assistance necessary” following devastating earthquakes.

“I just spoke to President @RTErdogan. On behalf of the Greek people, I extended my deepest condolences for the devastating loss of life and reiterated our readiness to provide all further assistance necessary,” the prime minister said in a tweet.

Here’s how you can help victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria

From CNN’s Julia Chan

earthquake damage in Hatay, Turkey
An aerial view shows the earthquake damage in Hatay, Turkey, on Monday. (Ercin Erturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images


More than 2,300 people have died and thousands more are hurt after a massive earthquake rocked Turkey and Syria Monday morning. The magnitude 7.8 quake was one of the strongest to strike the area in more than a century. Amid severe aftershocks, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) called for international help.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) says it is “launching immediate cash assistance” from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund to help relief efforts in both countries.

Many other organizations are also on the ground responding. CNN’s Impact Your World has gathered ways to help victims of the massive earthquake.

You can read more about how you can help here.

Putin pledges assistance in separate phone calls with Turkey’s Erdogan and Syria’s Assad

From CNN’s Anna Chernova, Isil Sariyuce and Uliana Pavlova

Russian President Vladimir Putin held separate calls with his Turkish and Syrian counterparts, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Bashar al-Assad, on Monday and pledged Moscow’s assistance in the aftermath of devastating earthquakes, according to a Kremlin readout.

Putin expressed “deep condolences over the devastating earthquakes” to Erdogan and “reaffirmed his readiness to immediately provide the Turkish partners with the necessary assistance in eliminating the consequences of this natural disaster,” the readout said.

According to the Russian readout, Erdogan “warmly thanked” Putin and said that he was instructing the competent departments of the country to accept the help of Russian rescuers.

In a conversation with Assad, Putin also conveyed his condolences and “offered to provide the Syrian side with the necessary assistance in eliminating the consequences of this disaster” which Assad accepted, according to the Kremlin.

“Bashar al-Assad accepted this offer with gratitude, and in the next few hours, rescuers from the Russian Emergencies Ministry will fly to Syria,” the Kremlin readout went on to say.

Some background: Russia is the strongest foreign power operating in Syria, and Putin has long allied himself with Assad, throwing the full weight of the Russian military behind the Syrian Army.

Earthquake impacted region of Syria where 4.1 million depend on humanitarian assistance, UN says

From CNN’s Jomana Karadsheh in Istanbul

The region of northwest Syria, which was impacted by the deadly earthquake on Monday, has 4.1 million people who rely on humanitarian assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Monday.

The majority of these people are women and children and along with the devastation from the earthquake, Syrian communities are battling an ongoing cholera outbreak amid a harsh winter with heavy rain and snow over the weekend, OCHA said in its statement.

“The UN and partners are monitoring the situation on the ground amidst information flow constraints due to chronic telecommunication disruptions and power shortages. Infrastructural damages are difficult to assess at this time and roads have been reportedly blocked in both Türkiye and north-west Syria,” OCHA added.

The powerful earthquake rocked multiple towns in Syria. Here’s a look at the devastation

At least 820 people are reported dead in Syria following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday.

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reports 430 deaths across government-controlled areas and the “White Helmets” group, officially known as the Syria Civil Defense, reported 390 deaths in opposition-controlled areas.

7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Diyarbakir, Turkey
Rescuers search for victims of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Diyarbakir, Turkey, in this video grab from AFP TV taken Feb. 6, 2023. Mahmut Bozarslan | AFP | Getty Images

France and Spain will send more than 200 rescue workers to Turkey

Spain and France each announced Monday they will send rescue workers to Turkey to assist in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.

A total of 139 French civil security rescue workers will fly to Turkey on Monday evening to assist with search and rescue efforts, France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.

In a tweet, Darmanin said the response came “at the request of the president of the republic,” and is “part of the European solidarity mechanism.”

“France stands in full solidarity with Turkey in these terrible circumstances,” the minister added.

Spain will send a group of 85 specialists to Turkey on Monday to support search and rescue operations, the country’s interior ministry said in a statement.

One team, with 50 members from the defense ministry’s military emergencies unit, will leave from the Moron air force base in southern Spain, according to the ministry. A second team, with 35 members from the Madrid regional government’s emergency response unit, will leave on a flight from the Torrejon air force base near Madrid.

The European Union mechanism for civil protection has confirmed Turkey’s acceptance of this aid from Spain, the ministry added.

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