By Beyza Binnur Donmez
ISTANBUL (AA) - Seventeen European nations are providing search and rescue teams to Türkiye after a series of earthquakes caused widespread destruction in the country’s south and east, where at least 2,316 people have died, the European commissioner for crisis management said Monday.
"Speed is of the essence and so is international coordination," Janez Lenarcic said on Twitter regarding the affected areas, adding: "Through our EU Civil Protection Mechanism, 17 European countries are providing rescue teams."
Lenarcic noted that the first rescue teams from Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary had already arrived in the earthquake affected areas this afternoon.
"In Syria, we are working closely with our humanitarian partners now also undertaking rescue operations," he added.
Previously, the number of countries deploying rescue teams was announced as 13, including Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Malta and Slovakia.
At least 2,316 people were killed and 13,293 others injured after two powerful earthquakes hit Türkiye’s southern and southeastern regions, according to the country's disaster agency.