3 Filipinos in Turkey reported missing
At least three Filipinos reportedly remain missing in Turkey following a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that has so far killed thousands, including in Syria.
“Unfortunately there are three Filipinas still missing from Hatay, one of the 11 provinces affected by the two earthquakes that hit us,” Weng Timoteo, vice president of the Filipino Community in Turkey, said in an interview on ANC.
She added that there were three children with the missing Filipinos.
“One Filipino I was talking to just now said her friend’s (who’s also a Filipino) house really collapsed to the ground and she had three children there,” Timoteo said.
On the other hand, Chery Santos, president of the Filipino Community in Ankara, told dzMM that one Filipino woman who was presumed dead in the quake had been found alive.
The woman was inside a building in Hatay province when the earthquake hit, Santos added. The Philippine Embassy in Turkey earlier confirmed that two Filipinos were injured in the earthquake although both had since recovered. But it has yet to confirm Timoteo’s report about the missing Filipinos although it “continuously receives a steady stream of confirmed and unconfirmed reports of Filipinos experiencing varying degrees of distress.”
According to Timoteo, mobile or online communication in the affected areas was almost nonexistent.
The Philippine Embassy in Syria has so far not received any report of injuries or deaths among the Filipinos in that country. On Thursday, the Philippine response team sent to help out in the ongoing search and rescue operations for quake survivors arrived in Turkey, according to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).
PH contingent arrives
The Turkish Airlines Flight TK 85 carrying the 83-man contingent landed in Istanbul at 12:08 p.m., according to OCD Joint Information Center head Diego Agustin Mariano.
“Initially, they will be deployed to Adana,” he told the Inquirer. The city was badly hit in the Feb. 6 magnitude 7.8 catastrophic earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria.
The Philippines is among the dozens of countries that have offered to assist in search and rescue efforts. The death toll has so far reached more than 15,000, with many still missing.