Jan 26, 2020 07:41 UTC
  • President Rouhani offers condolences to Turkey over deadly earthquake

President Hassan Rouhani says he is grieved by a recent earthquake in Turkey which killed at least 29 people and left more than 1,400 more injured.

According to Press TV, in a letter addressed to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday, Rouhani offered his condolences to the “brotherly and friendly” country of Turkey over the incident which took place on Friday night.

“The earthquake in Elazig Province of that country and death and injury of scores of people ... caused us grieve and sadness,” said Rouhani while wishing endurance for the families of the victims.   

The Iranian president also said that Tehran was ready to dispatch relief teams to areas in Turkey that were affected by the earthquake.

The letter came hours after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a phone call to his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu to extend aid to the neighboring country.

During the call, Zarif also offered his condolences for the loss of lives in the disaster and expressed Iran’s sympathy to the Turkish people and government.

On Saturday, Iran’s health ministry ordered special teams of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to stay on alert in order to help Turkey with relief efforts if there was any need to.

Reports late on Saturday said at least 29 people had been killed and more than 1,400 others injured in the 6.8-quake tremor that shook Elazig, located about 550 km (340 miles) east of the capital Ankara, at around 08.55 p.m. local time (17:55 GMT) on Friday.

The death toll also included people killed in the neighboring Province of Malatya.

Turkey’s interior ministry said some 43 people had been rescued from under the rubble and at least 22 people were still trapped.