NATO flags fly at half-staff to honour quake victims

Flags of the 30 NATO member states at the military alliance’s headquarters in Brussels flew at half-staff to honour the nearly 8,000 people who lost their lives in the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the two nations earlier this week.

In a Twitter post on Tuesday, the 30-member alliance, of which Turkey is a member, said: “All flags at NATO Headquarters are at half-mast today in solidarity with our ally Turkey.”

NATO also outlined its contributions to relief efforts.

“Over 1,400 emergency response personnel from more than twenty NATO allies and partners, including invitees Finland and Sweden, are deploying to Turkey, helping to respond to the devastating earthquakes which struck the country,” the post read.

On Monday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had said that he was in contact with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, adding that “NATO allies are mobilising support now”.

NATO and its partners are providing assistance to Turkey through seismic experts, search and rescue teams with dogs, freighters, structural engineers, and medical personnel and supplies, according to an official statement.

As of Wednesday morning, Turkey has reported a total of 5,894 deaths with 34,810 injured, while Syria’s toll has increased to 2,032, with nearly 3,000 injured persons.

The devastating 7.8 tremor struck Turkey’s southern province of Kahramanmaras at 4.17 a.m. on Monday morning, which was followed by a 6.4-magnitude temblor a few minutes later in Gaziantep province.

At around 1.30 p.m, a third 7.5-magnitude tremor hit Kahramanmaras.

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