Greece offered on Friday to assist the efforts of the Turkish authorities to locate and rescue people who have been trapped under the rumble of collapsed buildings in Smyrna, after the powerful earthquake that hit under the sea between Samos and Smyrna.
Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis called Turkish President Erdogan to offer his condolences and added: “Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together.”
I just called President @RTErdogan to offer my condolences for the tragic loss of life from the earthquake that struck both our countries. Whatever our differences, these are times when our people need to stand together.
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) October 30, 2020
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias also telephoned his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu to offer the country’s assistance by sending search and rescue teams to Smyrna.
Eπικοινώνησα με τον Υπουργό Εξωτερικών της Τουρκίας @MevlutCavusoglu και εξέφρασα την ετοιμότητα της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης να αποσταλούν άμεσα δυνάμεις της ΕΜΑΚ στη γειτονική χώρα. https://t.co/X4mTxEL6qe
— Nikos Dendias (@NikosDendias) October 30, 2020
The president of the European Council, Charles Michel also expressed the EU’s readiness to offer help to the areas hit by the 6.7-Richter quake on Friday. In his statement, Michel said “I am closely monitoring the developments after the strong quake that hit the Aegean, Greece and Turkey. My thoughts are with the people stricken by the quake. The EU is ready to offer assistance”.
The earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale also hit the Greek island of Samos, causing some older buildings to collapse. It is now confirmed that two teenagers have succumbed to injuries they sustained which were caused by a falling building on Samos.
However, there are fears of many dead in Smyrna.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced in a tweet soon after the quake that four people had died and over 120 were injured in Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city with around 4.5 million residents.
According to reports in Turkish media, the damage in the coastal city is extensive, with entire apartment buildings in ruins after the earthquake, and many are feared dead.
The latest reports out of Turkey indicate that seven people have succumbed to their injuries as a result of the earthquake. Rescue efforts are ongoing.