Biden instructs federal agencies to help Turkey and Syria

Biden instructs federal agencies to help Turkey and Syria

President Biden has instructed USAID and other federal government agencies to assess options for providing aid to the earthquake-hit areas in Turkey and Syria.

That’s what National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement released Sunday. Sullivan said the U.S. is deeply concerned about reports of the devastating earthquake.

“We stand ready to provide any assistance necessary,” he stressed.

Recall that more than 1,700 people were killed and thousands injured Monday when a massive earthquake struck the central region of Turkey and northwestern Syria.

The 7.8 magnitude quake, which occurred early this morning, was the strongest earthquake in Turkey this century. It was also felt in Cyprus and Lebanon. It was followed earlier in the day by another strong quake of magnitude 7.7.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said 1,121 people died, 7,634 were injured and 2,834 buildings collapsed in Turkey.

Erdogan said the death toll will rise as search and rescue efforts continue, adding that 45 countries have offered help.

In Syria, where a civil war has been raging for 11 years, more than 326 people have been killed and 1,042 injured, according to the health ministry. In the northwest of the country, controlled by the Syrian opposition, rescuers said 255 people died.

It was Turkey’s worst earthquake since 1939, when an earthquake of similar magnitude devastated Izmit and the densely populated eastern Marmara Sea region near Istanbul, killing more than 17,000 people.

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