A Filipina and her three children earlier reported to be missing have been found dead under the rubble of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked southern Turkiye and Syria on Feb. 6, the Philippine Embassy in Ankara confirmed.
In a statement on Sunday, Feb. 19, the embassy said expressed sentiments to the family of the Filipina and her three children.
“It is with deepest regret that the embassy must confirm the passing of a Filipina housewife and her three children, previously reported to be missing under the rubble in Antakya. She and her children have been laid to rest by her Turkish husband, in accordance with Turkish tradition,” the statement read.
It was earlier reported that the Filipina and her three children were already Turkish citizens.
“The embassy and the entire Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) family express their deepest condolences for this tragedy,” it added.
READ: Hopes fade for missing Pinay, 3 children a week after Turkiye quake
Meanwhile, while the embassy is “ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice” to help Filipinos in Turkiye, it stressed that it “shall now realign its efforts towards facilitating everyone’s return to normalcy.”
“Since the start of operations, the embassy team has met more than 70 Filipinos who have decided to remain in the provinces they have called home. Most were given assistance, according to their needs, while a handful respectfully declined so that it may be reserved for those in more dire situations,” the embassy said.
There are currently 20 families in the embassy shelter.
The embassy said it is “accelerating its actions” to start the repatriation of all qualified Filipino citizens who want to go back home.
READ: DFA: Number of evacuated Pinoys in Ankara, Turkiye rises to 64
Filipinos who want to remain in Turkiye will be given assistance, such as referrals for housing and financial programs being provided by the Turkish government to its citizens.
The statement thanked the Filipino community in Ankara and across Turkiye for being a “valued partner in developing a sense of normalcy for the shelterees.”
Turkiye and Syria were rocked by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Monday, Feb. 6, leaving thousands of people stuck in the debris of collapsed buildings.
The current death toll in Turkiye and Syria is now at 46,000.