Greece expresses solidarity, offers help to quake victims in Türkiye, Syria

ATHENS, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Greece expressed solidarity with the people of Türkiye and Syria and is sending assistance after deadly earthquakes rocked the two countries on Monday.

"On behalf of the Greek people and myself, I express my condolences to the families of the victims. We stand in solidarity, support the work of the rescue teams, and wish speedy recovery to the injured," Greece's President Katerina Sakellaropoulou tweeted.

"Deeply saddened by the devastating earthquake disaster in Türkiye and Syria," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Twitter, adding that Greece was mobilizing its resources and would provide assistance without delay.

Greece immediately responded to Türkiye's request for aid, the country's climate crisis and civil protection ministry said in a statement.

A military aircraft carrying 21 firefighters from the Special Disaster Response Unit (EMAK), five doctors and nurses, two rescue dogs and special equipment was scheduled to leave for the affected area later on Monday, according to the ministry.

Efthymios Lekkas, president of Greece's Earthquake Planning and Protection Organization, will also be on board along with an expert in supporting columns in the ruins of collapsed buildings, the statement said.

Lekkas told the Greek national news agency AMNA before departing that the seismic activity would not affect faults in Greece and was not related to a 4.2 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale that hit the island of Rhodes on Monday.

More than 1,600 people were killed and thousands of others injured after strong earthquakes jolted parts of Türkiye and northwest of Syria early Monday, as local rescuers are battling harsh winter conditions to search for survivors under rubble.

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