The Philippine Embassy in Türkiye said it has been receiving calls from distressed Filipinos across the country after it was struck by a destructive magnitude 7.8 earthquake.
In a statement on Tuesday night, it said will “act swiftly on all confirmed reports” amid the many “varying level of distress” that Filipino nationals are experiencing there.
It added it already set up a crisis command center to coordinate its actions with the Filipino community leaders in the affected areas as well as with Turkish authorities.
“The Philippine ambassador, with her team, has spent the crucial first day directly contacting as many of the 248 recorded Filipinos as possible in affected areas, including Gaziantep, Hatay, Adana, Mersin and Sanliufra,” the Philippine Embassy in Ankara said.
Initially, no Filipinos were reported both by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the embassy as casualties of the deadly earthquake that left at least 4,300 people in Türkiye and Syria dead.
But on Tuesday, Philippine Ambassador to Türkiye Maria Elena Algabre said in an interview with ABS-CBN that two were hurt following the incident, but they are now safe.
The embassy called on Filipinos in the country to remain vigilant amid strong aftershocks—the largest of which was a 7.5 magnitude quake.
It also asked the Filipino community to “extend their acts of charity towards our Turkish brethren and our kababayans” as the embassy also does its best to help those affected.
“As the human cost of the disaster rises into the thousands and the extent of the damage becomes more apparent, the Philippine Embassy in Ankara, with the Philippine Consulate General in Istanbul, continues to commiserate with our Turkish brethren through these trying times,” it said.
Filipinos who need help may reach out to the embassy through telephone or WhatsApp by dialing +905345772344 or through email at [email protected]