As a second powerful earthquake hit Turkey on Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Israel will send emergency aid to both Turkey and Syria.
“In accordance with the request of the Turkish government, I have directed the dispatch of search and rescue and medical teams,” Netanyahu said.
“A request was also received to do this for the many who were injured in the earthquake in Syria,” Netanyahu added, saying that Israel will send also send aid to Syria, which is officially in a state of war with the Jewish state.
According to a Channel 13 News report, Russia, which has many military assets in Syria, conveyed a request to Israel to provide aid there.
Turkey’s disaster management agency has reported that a new earthquake of magnitude 7.6 occurred close to the epicenter of Monday’s previous deadly quake, which also generated dozens of aftershocks. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the magnitude of the latest shock that occurred around 1024 GMT at 7.5 magnitude, with a depth of just 10 kilometers. Shallow earthquakes cause more damage.
It put the temblor near the town of Ekinozu, Turkey, also close to the southeastern city of Gaziantep which has a population of 2 million people and where the temperatures on Monday were hovering just above freezing. Orhan Tatar, an official from the Turkish disaster agency, told reporters that the two quakes were independent of each other. He said hundreds of aftershocks were expected after both.
The aftershock was felt as far as the eastern Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, where people took to social media to post footage of swaying curtains, while employees working in some high-rise buildings in the capital, Nicosia, quickly rushed outside.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said offers for help had been received from some 45 countries in the aftermath of Monday’s deadly earthquake and powerful, still ongoing aftershocks.
In a televised address, Erdogan announced that Turkey’s death toll had reached 912, adding that about 5,400 people were injured, while around 2,470 people were rescued from collapsed structures.
Some 3,000 buildings collapsed in the earthquake, he said. His announcement brought the death toll in Turkey and neighboring Syria to more than 1,300 people.
“Because the debris removal efforts are continuing in many buildings in the earthquake zone, we do not know how high the number of dead and injured will rise,” Erdogan said.
“Our hope is that we recover from this disaster with the least loss of life possible, he added. “I pray that G-d protects us and all humanity from such natural disasters.”