PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has extended its deepest sympathies and condolences to the victims and families as well as to the government and people of Turkiye following the deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said he conveyed the message to his Turkyish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu during a phone call yesterday.
“During the phone call, I have managed to seek the latest information and development concerning the tragedy,” he said.
In a show of solidarity and sympathy with the people of Turkiye, Zambry said a team from the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) would go to Istanbul to assist local authorities in the search and rescue (SAR) mission in the affected area.
Zambry, reported Bernama, noted that the ministry, through the Malaysian Embassy in Ankara and the Consulate-General in Istanbul, would continue monitoring developments closely in the aftermath of the earthquake.
“At this point of time, I can confirm that no Malaysians were reported to have ben affected by the earthquake,” he said in a statement.
As aftershocks are expected, Zambry also advised Malaysians in Turkiye to remain vigilant and to follow the latest updates and advisories issued by local authorities.
The earthquake jolted southern Turkiye near the city of Gaziantep. The tragedy also claimed lives in neighbouring Syria.
Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Duties) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali said 75 SMART members would fly to Turkiye via a Turkish Airlines aircraft bringing along with them the equipment needed in the SAR operation.
“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had approved the decision to send the team and the Turkiye government had confirmed the need for assistance,” he said in a statement yesterday.
He said the SMART team had received recognition by the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) in 2016 which allows its members to participate in disaster missions abroad.