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Foreign Minister: Ukraine to send several dozen rescuers to Turkey

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 6, 2023 11:53 PM 1 min read
Search and rescue efforts continue at the site in Gaziantep, Turkey, on Feb. 6, 2023, following the earthquakes that hit Turkey's Kahramanmaras. (Emin Sansar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Ukraine may send several dozen emergency workers to Turkey to assist in clearing the rubble after two devastating earthquakes hit the country, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on national TV. Kuleba added that this amount of Ukrainian rescue personnel will permit Ukraine to aid Turkey without “harming the capabilities of rescue services in Ukraine.”

Two powerful quakes at magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.5 struck southern Turkey and northern Syria on Feb. 6. The earthquakes have killed at least 2,316 people in Turkey, according to the country's disaster agency. In neighboring Syria, over 1,293 people have died, the government and rescue organizations reported, cited by AFP.

A massive rescue operation is underway with almost 20,000 first responders working on the sites, Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Agency said, according to CNN.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry has received more than 20 requests from Ukrainians who cannot get in touch with their relatives in Turkey, according to Kuleba.

"As of now, we do not have information if any Ukrainian citizens were injured in the earthquakes, but the rubble is being cleared out, so the information will be updated," the minister said on the evening of Feb. 6.

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