United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres was deeply saddened by the “loss of life and destruction of property” caused by a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked eastern Turkey on Friday night.
“The Secretary-General extends his condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and Government of Turkey”, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said in a statement issued on Saturday. “He wishes those injured a speedy recovery”.
Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, AFAD, said that 25 people were killed in Elazig province – some 465 miles east of the capital, Ankara – and four in the neighbouring province of Malatya.
And the country’s Health Minister recorded more than 1,450 injured people.
State media in Syria and Iran both reported feeling tremors in their countries, and local media in Lebanon said that Beirut and Tripoli also felt the quake.
More than 400 aftershocks have been recorded, 14 of which had magnitudes over 4.0, according to AFAD.
Hundreds of residents were left homeless or with damaged homes as rescue teams from neighboring provinces worked throughout the night with floodlights, using their hands, drills and mechanical diggers to remove bricks and plaster from collapsed buildings in search of survivors.
“The United Nations expresses its solidarity with Turkey and has offered support”, concluded Mr. Dujarric.