by Balqis Jazimah Zahari
KUALA LUMPUR: The government sent a Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) to assist in the search and rescue (SAR) effort for the victims of the earthquake disaster in Southern Turkey.
The 75-member SMART team left for Turkey on a flight last night.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said, through a phone call with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, H.E Mevlut Cavusoglu he assured that the Malaysian government under the leadership of Prime Minister will provide any form of assistance or support required.
“I have spoken to H.E. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey and extended Malaysia’s deepest sympathies and condolences to the victims and families as well as to the Government and the people of the Republic of Turkey following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit southeast Turkey near the city of Gaziantep on 6 February 2023.
“During the phone call, I have managed to receive the latest information and development concerning the tragedy.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, through the Embassy in Ankara and the Consulate General in Istanbul, will continue monitoring the developments closely in the aftermath of the earthquake,” he said in a statement.
Zambry said, at this point of time, he can confirm that no Malaysians were reportedly affected by the earthquake.
“In a show of solidarity and sympathy with the people of Turkey, a team from the SMART will fly to Istanbul tonight (last night) at 11.50pm to assist the local authorities in the SAR mission in the affected area,” he said.
According to him, as aftershocks are expected, Malaysians in Turkey are advised to remain vigilant and to follow the latest updates and advisories issued by local authorities.
He said, Malaysians in Turkey are urged to register with the Embassy in Ankara or the Consulate General in Istanbul at the following contact details:
Embassy of Malaysia in Ankara
Telephone: 00 (90-312) 4463 547/4463 548
Consulate General in Istanbul
Telephone:00 (90-212) 989 1001