By: ANADOLU AGENCY
The UN relief chief on Saturday described the powerful earthquake that jolted southern Türkiye and northwestern Syria earlier this week as the “worst event” to hit this region in a century.
“What happened here on Monday, the epicenter of the earthquake, was the worst event in 100 years in this region,” Martin Griffiths, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, told a news briefing in Kahramanmaras, southern Türkiye – the province where the quakes were centered.
Noting that more than 100 countries have sent first responders to help Türkiye, Griffiths explained: “We’re going to need more than that … I am here to make sure that these people (quake victims) also are not forgotten.”
The UN and all the nations it represents stand in solidarity at the time of this great tragedy, the high UN official added.
Pointing to the importance of the first 24 hours after the quake, he praised Türkiye’s response to the catastrophe as “extraordinary.”
“We have a clear plan tomorrow, the next day, to give an appeal for a three-month operation to help the people of Türkiye with humanitarian assistance, and we will do some similar one for the people of Syria,” he also said.
The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes on Monday affected more than 13 million people across 10 provinces, also including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said over 21,800 people have been killed and 80,000 others injured since the twin quakes hit southern Türkiye on Monday.
Several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon, felt the strong tremors that struck Türkiye in the space of fewer than 10 hours.
* Writing by Seda Sevencan