2 Pinoys killed in magnitude-7.8 Turkiye quake

Two Filipinos died in the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that hit Turkiye and Syria on Feb. 6, the Philippine Embassy in Ankara disclosed.

This handout photograph made available by the FDFA's Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) on February 9, 2023, shows members of the Swiss rescue team discussing the situation following a massive earthquake on February 6, in Antakya, in Hatay province on February 8, 2023. Rescue workers sent by Bern to Turkey have pulled earthquake victims out alive, the government said February 9, 2023, a first in two decades of Swiss participation in international catastrophe response. Michael FICHTER / FDFA / AFP

"t is with deepest regret that the Embassy must inform the public of the passing of two Filipinos, both earlier reported to be missing in Antakya," the Philippine Embassy said in a statement on Feb. 10.

"The Embassy and Consulate General express their deepest condolences and are in coordination with the victims' families in both the Philippines and Türkiye," the embassy added.

One national previously reported missing has been found alive while 34 Filipinos, including their spouses and children have been evacuated and are enroute Ankara in Turkey, the embassy said.

According to Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza, another team from the embassy will continue the mission from Mersin to check on the other Filipinos who need assistance or may wish to be evacuated to safer areas.

Meanwhile, Philippine Ambassador to Turkey Maria Elena Algabre said they are now in the next stage of the relief, rescue, and evacuation operations in southeast Türkiye.

"We continue to tirelessly reach out to as many Filipinos as possible and acknowledge the support of the local Filipino community leaders and their network," Algabre said.

The Philippine inter-agency humanitarian contingent team that recently arrived in Turkey will be deployed to Gaziantep for an additional relief, rescue, and evacuation operation.