ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif have expressed their condolences to Turkey and Syria after a massive earthquake killed hundreds and caused extensive damage to property.
The powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked southeastern Turkey and northern Syria early Monday, toppling hundreds of buildings and killing more than 600 people. Hundreds were still believed to be trapped under rubble, and the toll was expected to rise as rescue workers searched mounds of wreckage in cities and towns across the area.
On both sides of the border, residents jolted out of sleep by the pre-dawn quake rushed outside on a cold, rainy and snowy winter night, as buildings were flattened and strong aftershocks continued.
Rescue workers and residents in multiple cities searched for survivors, working through tangles of metal and giant piles of concrete. A hospital in Turkey collapsed and patients, including newborns, were evacuated from a handful of facilities in Syria.
In their separate messages, members of the government conveyed sympathies to the governments and people of the affected countries and expressed grief over the loss.
In his message, Prime Minister Sharif called for global action in response to the growing threat of climate change-related natural disasters.
He conveyed his condolences to the government and people of Turkey and emphasized that the impacts of climate change are not confined to a single country or region. He said these events are a wake-up call for the international community to act urgently for the benefit of humanity and the planet.
He expressed Pakistan’s support and solidarity with Turkey, recalling Turkey’s past support to Pakistan in times of need. The prime minister also offered his support to Turkey in any way possible.
Sharif conveyed his deepest sympathies to the bereaved families and prayed for the departed souls to rest in peace and for the quick recovery of those injured.
In a tweet, he also extended his heartfelt condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In her statement, Marriyum Aurangzeb, the minister for information and broadcasting, also expressed deep sadness over the incident, and offered her heartfelt condolences.
She prayed for the deceased to rest in peace and for the bereaved families to have the strength to cope with their loss. She also prayed for a speedy recovery for those injured in the earthquake.
Separately, the Foreign Office also expressed grief and offered support in the relief efforts.
— With AP