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Several Filipinos in Turkey still unaccounted for in earthquake’s aftermath 

THE DOCTORS Without Borders, which already has a team in northwest Syria, was among the first groups to provide assistance in earthquake-hit areas. — PHOTO COURTESY OF DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS

THE PHILIPPINE Embassy in Ankara on Thursday said it is still receiving reports of affected Filipinos, with some out of reach, after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Turkey on Feb. 6. 

“The embassy continuously receives a steady stream of confirmed and unconfirmed reports of Filipinos experiencing varying degrees of distress,” it said.  

“These included two confirmed reports of injured Filipinos, who are now recovered,” it added. “We are thankful that a number of our kababayans (countrymen) are safe and we will not give up hope for those that cannot be contacted.”  

Meanwhile, the embassy has also been contributing to the disaster response efforts through the distribution of relief goods to Filipinos in the cities of Adana and Iskenderun.  

“We are continuing to utilize our invaluable network of Filipino community leaders from across the country to get in touch with those in need, such as four Filipinos that the team evacuated from Adana to the safer city of Mersin,” the embassy said.  

Cherilyn Santos, president of the Filipino community in Ankara, on Thursday told Super Radyo dzBB that a Filipino reported dead earlier has been rescued. However, four other Filipinos living in the same building remain missing.  

There are 245 Filipinos residing in the affected regions, according to embassy consular records.  

There have been over 15,000 confirmed deaths across Turkey and neighboring Syria, according to a Thursday report from Reuters, as public anger brews over the slow arrival of rescue teams.  

The Philippines has sent an 85-man response team to Turkey to help in rescue and relief operations. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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