9 Sri Lankans living in Turkey’s earthquake-affected areas are safe – envoy

9 Sri Lankans living in Turkey’s earthquake-affected areas are safe – envoy

February 6, 2023   05:30 pm

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Ankara says that all nine Sri Lankans believed to be in the earthquake-affected areas of Turkey are safe and that 08 of them have already been traced. 

The ninth person, who lives in a building that had collapsed in the quake, was not there when the incident occurred and has not been contacted as of yet, Ambassador Hasanthi Urugodawatte Dissanayake told Ada Derana.  

“Our reports indicate that 09 Sri Lankans were in the areas where the earthquake occurred in Turkey. We attempted to reach all of them. We were able to contact some of the while some could not be reached directly.”

“However, as of now we know that all nine of them are safe. We have received reports on eight of them while we were informed that the ninth person was living in one of the collapsed buildings. But later we came to know that that person was not in building at the time of its collapse,” she said speaking to Ada Derana. 

The Ambassador stated that they are still unaware of the exact location of that person and that they are working on obtaining those details through the disaster management agency in that country. “That is all the information we have for now,” she said.

On the current situation in that country, Dissanayake said that tremors are continuing to be felt in the aftermath of the major earthquake and that another 7.5 magnitude earthquake had occurred a short while ago, which was also slightly felt in the capital of Ankara. 

The Ambassador said that they are continuously working to gather more information regarding the Sri Lankan living in the surrounding areas as well. 

At least 1,400 people have been killed and thousands injured after a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria early on Monday.

The huge quake toppled buildings, triggering a frantic search for survivors.

The epicentre was near the Turkish city of Gaziantep, a major Turkish provincial capital of more than two million people.

A second earthquake of 7.5 magnitude hit central Turkey on Monday afternoon, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre and US Geological Survey.

--With agencies inputs

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