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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
News article6 February 2023Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)1 min read

Türkiye and Syria: Statement on the earthquake by High Representative Borrell and Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič

ERCC duty officers seen from the back, looking at a screen
© European Union, 2022 (photographer: Pierre-Yves Jortay)

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, and Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, issued the following statement:

“A powerful earthquake of 7.8 magnitude – one of the strongest earthquakes in the region in more than 100 years – struck the region of Gaziantep in Türkiye, which impacted neighbouring Syria as well, in the early hours of Monday morning.

In an immediate response, the European Union has mobilised search and rescue teams for Türkiye following its request to activate the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

17 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Portugal, and Germany), together with Albania and Montenegro, have offered 25 search and rescue and 2 emergency medical teams.

Some 1,155 rescuers and 72 search dogs are heading to Türkiye, the first teams having arrived yesterday.

The EU's Copernicus satellite system has also been activated to provide emergency mapping services.

The EU is also ready to support those affected in Syria, which has also reported casualties, through its humanitarian assistance programmes.

Our thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones and the brave first responders working to save lives.”


Publication date
6 February 2023 (Last updated on: 7 February 2023)
Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)