Jan 25, 2020 13:14 UTC
  • Iran expresses sympathy with Turkish nation, govt. after quake

Iran has expressed sympathy with neighboring Turkey after a powerful earthquake caused casualties and extensive material damage.

Speaking on Saturday, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi voiced sympathy with the Turkish government and nation, particularly the bereaved families of the quake victims.

The magnitude 6.8 tremor shook Turkey's eastern Elazig Province at around 08.55 p.m. local time (1755 GMT) on Friday and was followed by more than 250 aftershocks.

Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Authority (AFAD) said at least 20 people were killed in Elazig and four more in the neighboring province of Malatya, adding that more than 1,000 others were wounded and taken to hospitals.

The earthquake caused buildings to collapse and sent residents rushing into streets.

In a post on his Twitter account, Iran's Ambassador to Ankara Mohammad Farazmand offered condolences to Turkish people, saying, "We wish mercy for those who lost their lives from Allah Almighty and patience for their families and urgent healing for the injured."

Iran’s Health Minister Saeed Namaki ordered special teams of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to stay on alert in order to help Turkey with relief efforts if need be.

The Health Ministry’s General Directorate of International Cooperation conveyed Iran's message to Turkey.

The Turkish Health Ministry thanked Iran for its swift reaction, stressing that the situation is currently under control. 

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu described the quake as a "Level 3" incident based on the country's emergency response plan, meaning that it called for a national response but did not require international help.