Prayut condoles with Turkey as search teams uncover scale of quake horror


Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai have sent condolences to the people of Turkey as a Thai search and rescue team prepares for its mission in the earthquake-hit country.

The death toll from devastating quakes that hit southern Turkey and northwest Syria on Monday passed 7,800 on Wednesday morning, as more bodies were pulled from the rubble of collapsed buildings. No Thai citizens had been reported dead in the disaster as of Tuesday evening, but some are sheltering in government-provided accommodation after their residences were destroyed in the disaster.

Prayut condoles with Turkey as search teams uncover scale of quake horror

Turkish President Recep Erdoğan has declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces devastated by the 7.8 and 7.7 magnitude earthquakes that left a trail of destruction across a wide area of southern Turkey and neighbouring Syria. Turkey confirmed 5,894 people had been found dead, while 1,932 people have died in Syria for a combined total of 7,826 fatalities. The World Health Organisation estimates the final death toll could reach 20,000 but some experts forecast the figure could rise above 100,000.

Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs

In a letter to Erdogan, Prayut expressed his “heartfelt condolences” to the Turkish people, its government, and families bereaved by the disaster, wishing them “strength and courage … during this difficult time”.

There were no reports of Thais being killed or injured by the earthquakes, said Thai ambassador in Ankara, Apirat Sugondhabhirom, on Tuesday.

However, the Royal Thai Embassy has discovered that some residences of Thais living in the disaster zone have been destroyed by the quake. The Thai citizens affected are now living in temporary accommodation provided by Turkish government, Apirat said.

He urged Thais planning to enter Turkey to study the routes to their final destinations and stay updated with developments to avoid the affected areas.

Thailand is deploying a 20-member urban search and rescue (USAR) team to the disaster zone where thousands of buildings are confirmed to have collapsed. More than 8,000 people have been pulled alive from the debris in Turkey, according to authorities.

The Royal Thai Embassy in Ankara can be reached by phone at 90 (533) 641 5698 or via its page,