Cyprus government says ready to send help after Turkish quake

The Cyprus government on Monday said it was saddened by the fatal earthquakes in Turkey and said it is ready to send help.

The quakes and their multiple aftershocks were also felt on the island, with the geological survey department saying minor tsunamis occurred in the Famagusta area as people rushed out of buildings all over the island for safety when the second quake hit at lunchtime.

The magnitude 7.8 Richter earthquake that hit southern Turkey has left hundreds dead and thousands more injured in the early hours of the Monday morning, while a second earthquake of 7.5 Richter was felt in the early hours of the afternoon.

Following the devastating quakes, the foreign ministry said it is ready to act.

Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, foreign ministry spokesman Demetris Demetriou said: “It is a humanitarian issue and there is no room for politics in these cases.”

In a statement on social media, the ministry said that they were saddened by the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria and they sent condolences to the families and victims.

Other countries in the area, have also sent aid and rescue teams.

Meanwhile, reports from the north said attempts are being made to re-establish contact with three groups of young Turkish Cypriot athletes who were at a volleyball tournament in Adiyaman.

Yeni Duzen reported that one family member of each of the 25 students will be flown via a specially chartered flight to the nearest point possible to the seismic zone, accompanied by officials from the ‘education ministry.’

Later in the day, Turkish ‘ambassador’ in the north Metin Feyzioglu said teams were being sent to help with the evacuation of the 25 students in a ruined hotel.

The newspaper earlier reported that two school groups from Famagusta were also in Maras and according to initial reports are safe, having been evacuated to a bunker.

According to other sources, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said his staff are in communication with Turkish authorities, a crisis office has been set up, and an extraordinary meeting of the ‘council of ministers’ has been convened.

Speaking about the first quake, geological survey director Christodoulos Hadjigeorgiou said a “small tsunami” was recorded off the Famagusta coast but no damage was caused. However, had there been an underwater landslide, the consequences could have been catastrophic, Hadjigeorgiou told CyBC.


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