Lebanese nationals are among those missing in Turkey & Syria after a massive earthquake hit the region.
The Lebanese ambassador to Turkey, Ghassan al-Muallem, said that the embassy is working with Turkish authorities to find the missing Lebanese, who are believed to be “under the rubble.”
“Rescue crews have not reached the area in which the missing Lebanese are believed to be due to the vast area affected by the earthquake and the cutoff of supply and transportation routes,” Muallem said in a radio interview.
Al-Muallem also noted that it is difficult to know the number of Lebanese victims because some of them had not informed the embassy of their presence and some are communicating with the embassy to help count the missing.
Lebanese nationals Mohammed Shamma and his son were rescued from the rubble in Hatay province, but his wife was killed.
The brother of another missing Lebanese, Elias al-Haddad, has called on the Lebanese state to rescue his brother, who was staying in the partially collapsed Ozcihan Hotel. This is also where another missing Lebanese, Bassel Habkouk, was staying before going missing.
Lebanese novelist and activist Dalal Zeineddine and her family were also killed in Hatay’s Antakya.
The Lebanese embassy in Syria announced the death of 3 Lebanese in the earthquake and the rescue of a Lebanese family in the Syrian province of Aleppo.
Prominent Lebanese basketball coach Ghassan Sarkis, who was present in Aleppo at the time of the earthquake, escaped unharmed.
On February 6th, 2023, two devastating earthquakes struck Turkey with magnitudes of 7.8 and 7.5. The earthquakes caused widespread damage in both Turkey and Syria, resulting in tens of thousands of fatalities and many injuries. The impact was felt across Lebanon, with shockwaves reaching as high as 5 magnitude and subsequent tremors.
On February 20th, 2023, another two earthquakes hit southern Turkey, with a magnitude of 6.4 and 5.8 just minutes apart.