The Philippine government expressed readiness to help in the aftermath of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck central Turkey and northwest Syria where about 300 people were killed with hundreds more injured.
"Our thoughts and prayers go to the peoples and governments of Türkiye and Syria following the strong earthquake that has claimed many lives and caused massive destruction to their countries," said President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. in a tweet.
"The Philippines is ready to help in whatever way it can in responding to this disaster."
In a separate statement sent by the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine Embassy in Ankara expressed the Philippines' condolences to the victims and families of those who lost their lives following the quake.
"The Philippine Embassy in Ankara extends its deepest condolences to the people of the Republic of Türkiye who lost their lives in the devastating earthquake in Gaziantep. We wish for the speedy recovery of the wounded and deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims," the Embassy said.
The Embassy said it continued to reach out to Filipino communities and its other contacts in the region to determine the situation of Filipinos in the area. So far, the Embassy has not received reports of Filipino casualties in the provinces of Gaziantep, Hatay, Adana, and Mersin.
"The Embassy will continue to monitor the situation of the Filipinos affected by the earthquake and stands ready to provide assistance," said the Embassy.
The Philippine Embassy is ready to assist Filipinos affected by the earthquake and may be reached via telephone and WhatsApp (+905345772344) and via email at email@example.com.
The total number of Filipinos in Türkiye is currently estimated at 4,006, based on the latest official statistics, according to the Embassy.
Turkish officials said among the provinces which suffered damage included Gaziantep, Kahramanmara?, Hatay, Osmaniye, Ad?yaman, Malatya, ?anl?urfa, Adana, Diyarbak?r, and Kilis. — DVM, GMA Integrated News