Over 850 people died after earthquake shakes Syria: Damascus envoy




New Delhi [India], February 7 (ANI): Calling the situation after the earthquake "dangerous," Syria’s Ambassador to India Bassam Alkhatib on Tuesday said that over 850 people died and some thousands of casualties were also reported in the country.

The Pazarcik district-epicenter earthquake in Turkey has affected Syria as well. On Monday, a 7.8 magnitude tremor struck at 04:17 local time (01:17 GMT) at a depth of 17.9km near the city of Gaziantep.

Talking to ANI, Alkhatib said, "Well actually, unluckily to say that this situation is very dangerous after this devastating earthquake. It was the big one. 7.8 started in Turkey and then spread to Damascus, Syria. Many regions are badly affected. So far, in the last 5 minutes, I made some phone calls, it’s more than 850 death cases and some thousands of casualties due to the earthquake.""The government from the very beginning under the leadership of President Bashar Hafez al-Assad has met relevant agencies to handle this situation. And there is a kind of plan to administrate the situation. It’s very dangerous. In some cases, it’s unluckily too bad but with help of many friendly countries,s things are improving. Among all, we are very happy to say that India from the moment the disaster stuck expressed the wish to be with Syria," the Syrian envoy to India added.

He also appreciated India for its quick response."When I started getting calls from Damascus, I started coordinating with MEA India and they soon responded. It was only a question of some hours when brothers at the MEA told me that they are ready, have a plan to help Syria, and sent the relief and pieces of equipment fast," AlkhatibRegarding MoS V Muraleedharan’s visit to the Syrian Embassy, he said that this is how India acts and this is how India is going to build a new future. India will be the voice of the south and the voice of the people looking for a better future.

Earlier, MoS Muraleedharan visited the Embassy of Syria and extended condolences to Ambassador Bassam Al-Khatib for the devastation caused by the earthquake yesterday.

Taking to Twitter, the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson said, "Conveyed PM @narendramodi’s message of sympathy and commitment to providing expeditious assistancesupport."Earlier, Mraleedharan also visited the embassy of Turkey and expressed condolences to Ambassador Firat Sunel over the casualties and damages caused by three earthquakes.

MoS Muraleedharan also conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message of sympathy and humanitarian support.

"@MOS_MEA visited Embassy of Turkiye to express condolences on the devastation casued by today’s earthquakes. Conveyed PM @narendramodi’s message of sympathyhumanitarian support. Underscored readiness to send relief material, as well as NDRF and medical teams to assist Turkiye," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a tweet.

On Monday, two earthquakes rocked Turkey and the country is still assessing the number of casualties and the damage. (ANI)

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