Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and destruction in Sunday's earthquake in eastern Turkey and pledged the readiness of the United Nations to assist if requested.
At least 70 people reportedly died when the 7.2-magnitude quake shattered buildings near the city of Van, while an unknown number are trapped under rubble. Casualties are reported to be particularly high in the town of Ercis, close to the Iranian border, where around 30 buildings fell.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban expressed his heartfelt sympathies to the Government and people of Turkey at this time of loss and suffering.
“The Secretary-General commends the Turkish authorities for their rapid response to the situation,” the statement added.
“The United Nations is in contact with the relevant authorities and stands ready to offer any assistance if requested.”