Envoy thanks PH for assistance to quake-hit Turkey

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 8) — The Turkish Embassy in Manila on Wednesday thanked the Philippine government as the latter prepares to send teams to help in the rescue operations following the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit Türkiye – formerly called Turkey -- on Monday.

Speaking to CNN Philippines’ The Source, Turkish Ambassador to the Philippines Niyazi Akyol said they are “deeply moved by the contribution of the people and the government of the Philippines.”

While he has yet to directly speak with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the envoy said he has been in touch with some of the government Cabinet members regarding the matter.

On Tuesday, Marcos said the Philippine government will deploy an 85-person contingent to Türkiye to help in rescue and relief operations there. 

The Department of Health (DOH) said in a statement that the team will include 31 health emergency responders from the department’s two hospitals, namely Dr. Jose Natalio Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center and Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital.

This will be composed of doctors, nurses, medical technologists, and medical professionals, the DOH noted.

The team will also bring 16 tons of medical and rescue operations equipment.

According to Akyol, the powerful earthquake affected 13.5 million residents in 10 provinces. Death toll has reached over 5,000 were reported dead, while injuries has reached more than 34,000.

Two Filipinos were also hurt due to the quake, the Philippine Embassy in Türkiye confirmed.

Aside from destroyed or blocked roads, rescue operations are also being challenged by the winter season in Türkiye, the envoy said.