Sweden ready to offer help to Turkey after massive earthquake, Swedish PM says

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has said Sweden is ready to offer help to Turkey after an earthquake early on Monday in south-central Turkey killed almost 1,800 and injured thousands more, Swedish media reported.

Following Turkey’s call for help, Kristersson sent his condolences to Turkey and tweeted: “Saddened about the loss of lives in Türkiye and Syria following the major earthquake. Our thoughts go to the victims and their loved ones. I have sent my deepest condolences to @RTErdogan. As partner of Türkiye and holder of the EU presidency, we stand ready to offer our support.”

”I deeply regret the terrible consequences of the earthquake in #Turkey and #Syria with a high loss of lives. As Sweden holds the @sweden2023eu we are going to reach out to @MevlutCavusoglu and to Syria for the coordination of EU-efforts to aid these countries in this disaster,” Foreign Minister Tobias Billström said on Twitter.

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook Turkey and Syria in the early morning hours of Monday, together with another magnitude 7.5 temblor some nine hours later, killed almost 1,800 people, leveled buildings while many were still asleep and triggered tremors felt as far away as Egypt and the island of Cyprus.

It was one of the most powerful to hit the region in at least a century, affecting southeastern parts of Turkey that are home to millions of refugees from Syria and other war-torn parts of the world.

The emergency service in Turkey put the initial death toll at 1,498, although it threatened to climb substantially because the nighttime disaster had flattened dozens of apartment blocks across major cities.

At least 326 people also died in government-controlled parts of Syria, as well as the northern areas held by pro-Turkish factions, according to the health ministry and a local hospital.

Turkey has declared a level-four emergency and asked for international assistance through the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre.

Speaking to the Aftonbladet daily, Therese Rosenblad from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency said they are working hard to help the people and areas affected by the earthquakes.

The European Union is sending rescue teams and preparing further help for Turkey, and some member states such as Germany, France, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Netherlands, Romania and Finland also said they stood ready to deploy teams and help.

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