A 7.8 magnitude earthquake has hit Türkiye and Syria. The reported death toll is exceeding 5000 people. The European Union (EU) has mobilised 1,155 rescuers and 72 search dogs to help with the search efforts. The EU has activated its Copernicus satellite system to provide emergency mapping services.
The earthquake struck Gaziantep in Türkiye and impacted Syria in the early hours of Monday morning. A series of aftershocks have hit the area causing more damage and death. The EU mobilised the search and rescue teams after Türkiye put in a request to activate the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. This was established by the European Commission to strengthen cooperation between the EU and eight participating states to improve prevention, preparedness, and response to disasters. To date, 17 countries have offered 25 search and rescue and two emergency medical teams.
European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen said “We stand in full solidarity with the people of Türkiye and Syria after the deadly earthquake that hit this morning. We mourn with the families of the victims,”
Turkish journalist Ibrahim Haskologu said, “People are still under the [collapsed] buildings, they need help.” He also said that he and other journalists are receiving voice notes from people under the rubble.