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Turkey/Syria Earthquake: We Are Ready to Assist

Portugal has expressed its availability to work alongside other international support agencies to provide search and rescue and medical assistance to the areas affected by this morning’s earthquake in Turkey.  Registering 7.8 on the Richter Scale, the earthquake has devastated parts of southeast Turkey and northern Syria. Shockwaves were also felt in Lebanon and Cyprus.

Talking to reporters, the Minister of Internal Affairs, José Luís Carneiro said:

“At the moment there are already 11 countries who have mobilised resources to support Turkey under the European Civil Protection Mechanism. We have also already transmitted our readiness to the European Union to join this support team, in both rescue and medical emergency aid.”

“In these last hours, the National Civil Protection Authority has been in contact with the authorities of the European Civil Protection Mechanism and, as soon as these needs are determined, our immediate availability is total.”

The earthquake occurred at 04:17 (01:17 in Lisbon), 33 kilometers from the capital of Gaziantep, a province in southeastern Turkey, at a depth of 17.9 kilometers.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), minutes after the first earthquake, another 6.7 aftershock hit at a depth of 9.9 kilometers.

Aid and rescue work has been severely hampered by a second earthquake, a lack of resources especially in Syria, instability of surrounding structures, and freezing temperatures.

Later on, the Minister of Health announced that INEM (National Institute of Medical Emergency) has been placed on standby.

Our thoughts are with those caught up in the disaster.

Samantha Gannon

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