UK foreign secretary says three British citizens missing near Syrian border

The three UK nationals are still missing near the border between Turkey and Syria.

The foreign secretary announced that three British citizens are still missing following the disastrous earthquake that rocked southeast Turkey, close to the Syrian border.

“As of this morning, we know that three British nationals are missing,” James Cleverly said in a statement to the Commons. 

“he Foreign Office’s Crisis Response Hub is working to support the at least 35 British nationals who have been directly affected by these earthquakes.”

More than 5,000 people have died as a result of the catastrophic sequence of earthquakes and aftershocks that struck between southeast Turkey and northwest Syria.

Early on Monday, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the Turkish city of Gaziantep.

Since then, a massive search and rescue effort has been initiated to locate any survivors who may still be alive and trapped beneath the wreckage of lost houses and businesses.

The Turkish government is asking for foreign support, according to Mr. Cleverly, “on a scale that meets the magnitude of the issue that they are confronting.”

He said, “Across the region inhabited by more than 12 million people, more than 6,000 buildings have collapsed. Electricity and gas infrastructure has been severely damaged.”

“The Turkish government has declared a state of emergency and they are requesting international assistance on a scale that matches the enormity of the situation that they are facing.”

Twelve London Fire Brigade crew members and 76 search and rescue specialists, along with cutting-edge tools and four carefully trained dogs, are among those helping with the relief operation.

Atilla Ustun, 55, a spokesman for the British Turkish Association, commended localities in London for helping to fund between £200,000 and £300,000, which paid for 300 crates of donated aid to be flown on a Turkish Airlines cargo jet from Heathrow.

Aid organisations prioritise shelter after the rescue operation, for there is still a need for food, fresh water, and warm clothing.

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