PM Shehbaz sets up relief fund for Turkish earthquake victims

Shehbaz visit Turkiye

Islamabad: In solidarity with the people of Turkiye, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has decided to establish a Prime Minister’s Relief Fund to support the victims of the earthquake that has killed more than 4,300 people so far in Turkiye and Syria combined.

In a statement on Twitter, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said the federal cabinet had also announced to donate one month’s salary to the relief fund.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan dispatched humanitarian assistance to earthquake-hit Turkiye at the direction of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt. General Inam Haider Malik sent off the emergency relief consignment from the Nur Khan Air Base through PAF C-130 aircraft, including winterized tents and blankets along with a search and rescue team of Pakistan Army.

Reuters reported that rescue teams worked early on Tuesday to release people trapped in the rubble of buildings in southern Turkey as the death toll in the country from a devastating earthquake a day earlier rose to nearly 3,000.

The magnitude 7.8 quake rippled through both countries early Monday, toppling entire apartment blocks, wrecking hospitals, and leaving thousands more injured or homeless.

Nearly 8,000 people have been rescued from 4,758 buildings destroyed in the tremors a day earlier, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said in its latest statement.

AFAD head Yunus Sezer said that 2,921 people had died in Turkey as aftershocks continued to shake the region. Another earthquake of 5.6 magnitude struck central Turkey on Tuesday, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said.

At least 1,444 people were killed in Syria and about 3,500 injured, according to figures from the Damascus government and rescue workers in the northwestern region controlled by insurgents.

With additional input from Reuters.