ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government on Monday extended its condolences over the loss of precious lives and expressed sorrow over extensive infrastructure damage due to a massive earthquake in Turkiye, offering its support to Ankara for relief efforts.
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit southeast Turkiye and Syria early Monday, toppling buildings and sending panicked residents pouring outside in a cold winter night. More than 600 people were killed and the toll was expected to rise.
The quake, felt as far away as Cairo, was centered north of the city of Gaziantep in an area about 90 kilometers (60 miles) from the Syrian border.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said his government he was “deeply saddened” and extended his sympathies to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Deeply saddened by the news of a massive earthquake that struck southeastern region of Türkiye,” Sharif said on Twitter.
“I send my profound condolences & most sincere sympathies to my brother President @RTErdogan & brotherly people of Türkiye on the loss of precious lives & damage to infrastructure.”
The people of Pakistan stand in complete solidarity with their Turkish brethren in this hour of grief, the Pakistani foreign office said in a statement, offering Islamabad’s all possible support in the relief effort.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved families and pray for early recovery of those injured,” the statement read.
“We are confident that the resilient Turkish nation will overcome this natural calamity with characteristic grit and determination.”