The death toll from the earthquake in Turkey and Syria rises to more than 600

The death toll from the 7.4 magnitude earthquake registered this Monday in southern Turkey, near the border with Syria, has risen to more than 600according to data provided by the authorities of both countries.

Turkish Vice President Fuad Oktay, indicated that at least 284 people have died and more than 2,300 have been injured due to the quake and specified that the data correspond to the damage count in ten provinces of the country, according to the Turkish state news agency, Anatolia.

The governor of Kahramanmaras province, Omer Faruk Coskun, stressed that “It is not possible to give an exact number of dead and injured at this time” and added that “the damage is serious.” The earthquake had its epicenter in the Pazarcik district, located in this province.

Along these lines, the mayor of Kahramanmaras, Hayrettin Gungor, acknowledged that the situation is a “disaster” and added that the authorities “are on the ground with all their capabilities.” “Our request to the citizens is that they do not crowd and do not disturb traffic. We need to help the (search and rescue) teams,” she argued.

For his part, the Minister of the Interior, Suleyman Soylu, indicated in a press conference that the Turkish government declared the highest level of alarm, which includes the request for international help, and sent numerous search and rescue teams to the earthquake zones.

The president of the country, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has conveyed his “best wishes” to all citizens who have been “affected by the earthquake (…) and that it has been felt in many parts” of the country. “We also coordinate the works started after the earthquake. We hope to overcome this disaster together as soon as possible and with as little damage as possible, and we continue our work, ”he indicated in his profile of Twitter.

The earthquake left Nearly 240 dead in areas of Syria controlled by the authorities, according to data from the Syrian Ministry of Health, which noted that about 640 people have been injured. Most of the victims reside in the provinces of Latakia, Aleppo, Hama and Tartus.

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Given the situation, the Syrian Ministry of Defense announced the mobilization of all its units and institutions to help the victims, according to a statement collected by the Syrian state news agency, SANA. The country’s president, Bashar al Assad, also led an emergency government meeting to analyze the situation.

To these figures must be added more than 90 dead and 500 wounded in rebel-held areas in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, as detailed in statements to the German news agency DPA by the president of the Syrian American Medical Society, Basel Termanini. The organization covers about 50 percent of health care in these areas of the Arab country.

The European Union (EU) showed on Monday its “solidarity” and their willingness to “help”. “Deeply saddened to learn this morning of the devastating earthquake that has struck parts of Turkey and Syria,” said the President of the European Council, Charles-Michelin a message posted on his official account on the social network Twitter.

“My deepest condolences to the many families who have lost lives and a speedy recovery to those injured. The EU shows its full solidarity with you.” manifested.

The High Representative of the EU for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, who lamented the earthquake that killed “hundreds” of people and “injured many more”. “Our thoughts are with the people of Turkey and Syria. The EU is ready to help, ”she stressed.

(With information from Europe Press)

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