Xi extends sympathy to Turkiye, Syria

BEIJING: President Xi Jinping has extended messages of sympathy to the leaders of Turkiye and Syria after the two nations were hit by two powerful earthquakes. At least 2,300 people reportedly were killed and thousands injured in the quakes by press time.
In the messages to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Xi said he was shocked to learn that the quakes led to major casualties and losses in the two nations.
On behalf of the Chinese government and people, he expressed deep grief over the deaths and extended sincere sympathy to the families of the victims and to those who were injured.
Xi said he believes the two nations and their people, led by their respective presidents, will surely get through the disaster at an early date and rebuild their homes.
In a statement issued on Monday, the China International Development Cooperation Agency said it has been in communication with related departments in Turkiye and Syria and was ready to provide emergency humanitarian assistance according to the needs of the disaster-stricken people.
The first quake, a magnitude 7.8 temblor, rocked southeastern Turkiye and northern Syria early on Monday. It hit near Gaziantep in southeastern Turkiye at 4:17 am local time at a depth of about 17.9 kilometers, according to the US Geological Survey.
The quake toppled hundreds of buildings, and hundreds of people were believed to be trapped beneath rubble. The toll was expected to rise as rescue workers searched mounds of debris in cities and towns across the area.
More than 20 aftershocks followed, some occurring hours later during daylight, Turkish authorities said.
A second earthquake, at magnitude 7.5, hit southeast Turkiye at 1:24 pm on Monday, the USGS reported, adding that the quake hit at 1:24 pm, 4 km south-southeast of the town of Ekinozu and at a depth of about 10 km.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter that “search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched” to the areas hit by the quake.
–The Daily Mail-China Daily news exchange itemz