Jersey looking to support victims of Turkey and Syria earthquakes

Today's earthquake in Turkey was stronger than one in 1999 which killed 18,000 people.

Jersey's International Development Minister says work is underway to see how the island can best support the victims of two major earthquakes which struck Turkey and north-west Syria on Monday morning.

So far, more than 1,300 people are known to have died and thousands more have been injured. Rescue workers and residents are continuing to search for survivors in the rubble beneath collapsed buildings.

The death toll is expected to continue rising.

Jersey Overseas Aid, which is funded by the island's government, says it is in discussions with humanitarian agencies about how best to support relief efforts.

Deputy Carolyn Labey, Jersey's International Development Minister, says the situation is "truly heart-breaking":

"The widespread destruction and devastation, combined with extreme weather conditions, adds to what is already a chronic humanitarian situation. JOA’s officers are in contact with humanitarian partners on the ground including the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"As you would expect at this stage, priority is being given to emergency search and rescue teams who are searching through the rubble. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and identify how Jersey could best support the relief effort."

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