International Community Offers Sympathies, Aid to Quake-hit Eastern Turkey

A street lined with crumbling building during the aftermath of the 1999 earthquake in İzmit, Turkey. a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook the eastern part of the country on October 23. Photo by: United States Geological Survey

World leaders have offered condolences and humanitarian aid while international organizations have put response teams on standby to assist Turkey, where more than 1,000 people are feared dead following a magnitude-7.2 earthquake that struck in the eastern part of the country on Sunday (Oct. 23).

At least 217 people are confirmed dead from the earthquake as of early Monday in Turkey. The toll is expected to rise as rescuers work round-the-clock through the rubble in hardest-hit Ecris, a city near the country’s border with Iran and home to approximately 75,000. Sunday’s earthquake is said to be the strongest to have hit Turkey in 10 years.

The United Nations and several of its member states, along with international humanitarian organizations, said they are ready to send aid as needed.

Ireland has put the Irish Aid Rapid Response Corps on standby and offered to send humanitarian aid from its stockpiles in Italy and the United Arab Emirates to Turkey, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The International Medical Corps, meanwhile, said it has deployed a team in the Turkish capital city of Ankara to monitor the situation in the quake-hit eastern region and assess how the group can assist in the response.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and leaders of the United States, Canada, and the European Union have offered condolences to those affected by the disaster, pledging to provide aid if requested by the Turkish government.

The Turkish government has yet to formally request humanitarian or technical assistance and has so far declined all offers of assistance, Reuters says, citing a statement from a Turkish foreign ministry official.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.