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Pinoy Abroad

Pinoys in quake-hit Turkey start receiving aid; 2 confirmed hurt —embassy

Philippine embassy personnel in Turkey have started visiting areas affected by the recent powerful earthquake to distribute aid and check on the condition of affected Filipinos there.

As of Thursday, two Filipinos were confirmed injured but are now recovered, the Philippine Embassy in Ankara said in a statement.

"Mindful of current regulations implemented by the Turkish government, the Embassy has successfully begun its initial mission to the affected provinces in southeast Turkiye, in coordination with Turkish authorities," the embassy said.

The team is being personally led by Philippine Ambassador Maria Elena Algabre.

Algabre earlier said there are 248 Filipinos affected the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Turkey on Monday, February 6.

"The Ambassador is personally leading the Embassy Team to meet with as many Filipinos as able and practicable, subject to the conditions of surrounding infrastructure and ongoing local operations," the embassy said.

The embassy said its team has already met with several Filipinos in the cities of Adana and Iskenderun, one of the most devastated areas in Hatay province.

In the process, the team was able to evacuate four Filipinos from Adana to Mersin, a safer city.

"The Embassy continuously receives a steady stream of confirmed and unconfirmed reports of Filipinos experiencing varying degrees of distress. These included two confirmed reports of injured Filipinos, who are now recovered," the embassy said.

Personnel from the embassy also distributed relief goods that included food, blankets, water and cash.

"We deeply appreciate the relief goods that continue to be provided through generosity of our Filipino brethren in Turkiye," the embassy said.

Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan has admitted there were problems with his government's initial response to the earthquake, amid anger from those left destitute and frustrated over the slow arrival of rescue teams.

The combined reported death toll across Turkey and neighboring Syria has risen past 12,000, according to a Reuters report. 

Philippine President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has deployed an 85-man team to Turkey to assist earthquake victims. —KBK, GMA Integrated News