Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reached out to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday night to express his sympathies and offer assistance in the wake of a devastating 6.8-Richter earthquake in which at least 21 people have been killed.
According to an announcement from the prime minister’s office, Erdogan thanked Mitsotakis for his support and added that Turkish authorities would have a clearer picture of the situation on Saturday.
Mitsotakis also took to social media, offering his “wholehearted sympathy” to Erdogan and the Turkish people. “Our search and rescue teams stand ready to assist,” he said in a tweet.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias also called his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to express Athens’ support.
The death toll from the powerful quake that rocked eastern Turkey shorty after 9 p.m. local time on Friday climbed to 21 on Saturday and may rise further amid fears of people being trapped under rubble from collapsed buildings, according to the Associated Press.
At least five buildings in Elazig and 25 in Malatya province were destroyed, the AP quoted Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum as saying, adding that hundreds of other structures were damaged and made unsafe. It said that over 1,000 people have been injured.