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Feb 08, 2023 / 16:29

Embassy to assist any Vietnamese victim of earthquake

As of the morning of February 8, the Vietnamese Embassy in Turkey had no record of any Vietnamese nationals falling victim to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck central Turkey and northwestern Syria in the early hours of February 6.

The Vietnamese Embassy in Turkey stands ready to help any Vietnamese earthquake victim in the host country, said First Secretary of the Embassy Nguyen Phu Tan Huong.

Huong told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) that following the incident, the embassy immediately contacted the Turkish Foreign Ministry's departments in charge of immigration and Asia-Pacific, the police and authorities in 10 provinces and cities affected by the quake, including Kahramanmaras, Adiyaman, Gaziantep, Hatay, Diarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye, Sanliurfa, Adana, and Malatya.

Rescuers and volunteers search for victims and survivors trapped in the rubble after a strong earthquake in Antakya, Hatay Province, Turkey on February 7. Photo: Reuters

The embassy has also been in communication with the Vietnamese expatriate community to frequently update information about the disaster, and will take citizen protection measures in case there are any Vietnamese casualties, Huong added.

The official noted that the quake struck in the early morning when most people were asleep, so the number of casualties may be higher. "The Vietnamese embassy is making efforts to gather information as soon as possible," Huong added.

Huong said there are some Vietnamese nationals living in the disaster areas. In the coming days, the embassy will send staff there to keep abreast of the situation and provide immediate assistance.

Vietnamese citizens can contact the embassy through its Facebook page or hotline at +90 545 7858548 or the citizen protection call center at +84.9818848484 for support, the first secretary advised.

As of February 8 morning, the embassy had no record of Vietnamese nationals among the victims.

According to the latest report, the earthquake, the most powerful in nearly 100 years, has killed more than 7,800 people.

Authorities are conducting search and rescue in the disaster-hit areas. Turkey has declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 provinces and asked for international aid.

As one of the world's most active earthquake zones, Turkey experienced several strong earthquakes in the past, including a 7.4-magnitude one in 1999 that was the most severe in decades, resulting in over 17,000 fatalities. The most recent 7-magnitude earthquake occurred in October 2022 in Aegean, causing 114 deaths and more than 1,000 injured.