Museveni joins world leaders in mourning Turkey, Syria earthquake victims

President Yoweri Museveni sent his condolences to the people of Turkey and Syria following huge earthquakes that has now killed more than 10,000 people across a swathe of southern Turkey and northwest Syria on Monday, January 6. #WhisperEyeNews

In a Twitter message posted on his account, President Museveni said; “ I am deeply saddened by the deaths, injuries, and loss of property in Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake. My thoughts and prayers, and those of all Ugandans, are with the families who have lost their loved ones. May their souls rest in eternal peace.”

A major earthquake of magnitude 7.8 and its powerful aftershocks have killed over 10,000 people by today press time and injured thousands as buildings collapsed across the region, triggering searches for survivors in the rubble.

The initial earthquake hit near the Turkish city of Gaziantep at 4:17 am local time (01:17 GMT) on Monday, as people were sleeping, at a depth of about 17.9km (11 miles). It was also felt as far as Cyprus, Egypt, and Lebanon. It was later followed by another heavier one.

Search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched to the areas hit by the earthquake. Turkey’s defense ministry said the country’s armed forces have established an air corridor to enable medical and rescue teams to reach the earthquake-hit areas.

Videos shared on social media showed harrowing images of buildings reduced to piles of rubble in several cities in Turkey’s southeast. Broadcasters TRT and Haberturk showed images of people gathered around destroyed buildings in the town of Kahramanmaras, looking for survivors. Other images showed people taking shelter in their cars on the side of snow-covered roads.

The earthquake jolted residents in Lebanon from their beds, shaking buildings for about 40 seconds. Many residents of Beirut left their homes and took to the streets or got in their cars to drive away from buildings.

Germany. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: “We mourn with the victims and fear for those buried. Germany will of course send help.”

US President Joe Biden said he was “deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation.”

“I have directed my team to continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with Türkiye and provide any and all needed assistance,” the president tweeted.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said its network of emergency medical teams has been activated to provide essential health care for the injured and most vulnerable.

The WHO said one of the primary concerns was trauma care of those caught up in the devastating earthquake.

Ten search and rescue teams from eight European Union countries have been mobilized to help first responders in Turkey, the European Commission said in a statement.

The units come from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, and Romania. Italy and Hungary have also offered to send teams to Turkey.

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