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66 countries send help for Turkey quake victims — envoy

A total of 66 countries have so far provided assistance to Turkey as search and rescue operations continue after the magnitude 7.9 earthquake, Turkish Ambassador to the Philippines Niyazi Akyol said Thursday.

“Right now, 66 countries actually extended their assistance to us with over 3,000 aid personnel from those countries. Search and rescue, and medical aid personnel, including the Philippines, are now in the region,” Akyol said in an interview on ANC.

“We are very grateful for the assistance of the international community and of course we are very grateful to the Philippines for the generous assistance at this difficult time of need, extended to us,” he added.

Akyol said among the challenges in search and rescue operations are the -5 to -10 degree Celsius temperature and snowfalls, as well as the damaged and blocked road infrastructures.

The reported death toll in Turkey is at 15,000 as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan admitted shortcomings in government response.

Akyol said at least 52,979 people were reported injured and 6,444 buildings reportedly collapsed.—Joviland Rita/AOL, GMA Integrated News