ANKARA (AA) - Australia and New Zealand announced Tuesday that they will provide millions of dollars in humanitarian assistance for the victims of the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.
Addressing a joint news conference in Canberra, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his New Zealand counterpart Chris Hipkins extended their deepest sympathies and condolences to the families and communities that have lost loved ones.
"We have seen thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries through this tragedy," said Albanese.
"These multiple earthquakes that have hit the region are having a devastating impact, and today I can announce that the Australian government will provide an initial A$10 million ($6.94 million) in humanitarian assistance to those affected through our Red Cross and Red Crescent partners and through humanitarian agencies," he said.
Hipkins also announced that his country will contribute NZD$1.5 million ($948,007) and said his foreign minister will release more details.
"So our hearts are with them. New Zealand will also be contributing to the international effort. The minister of foreign affairs in New Zealand will release details of the NZD$1.5 million that we’ll also be contributing. We should be releasing that very shortly. But in the meantime, can I just add as well the thoughts of the people of New Zealand," he said.
At least 2,921 people were killed and 15,834 others injured in 10 provinces of Türkiye due to two strong earthquakes that jolted the southern part of the country, an official from the nation’s disaster agency said early Tuesday.
Early Monday morning, a powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck Pazarcik district of Kahramanmaras province and strongly shook several other provinces, including Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay and Kilis.
Then at 13.24 p.m. (1024GMT), a 7.6 magnitude quake centered in Kahramanmaras’s Elbistan district struck the region.
In Syria, government and rescue officials reported that at least 1,300 people were killed and over 2,400 others were injured in the quakes.