The Embassy of Georgia in Turkey has switched to an emergency working mode following the deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake in the country’s south on Monday, the Georgian Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday.
The Ministry said in order to determine the location, conditions and needs of Georgian citizens in the quake-hit zone, the diplomatic mission has been in “constant contact” with the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority of Turkey.
As a result of the significant damage inflicted by the quake on the highways and the airports, transportation and traffic movement have been disrupted in the disaster regions, the Ministry noted, adding the number of victims, as well as the situation, was changing “rapidly”, due to difficult meteorological conditions and repeated quake tremors.
The Embassy of Georgia has received “more than a thousand” phone calls and appeals from Georgian citizens and their family members on the Embassy’s phone numbers, active hotlines and through social networks, the state body noted.
More than a hundred Georgian citizens applied to the Embassy, including 20 “particularly difficult” cases, out of which 14 Georgian citizens’ whereabouts have been identified by the Embassy, whose lives are not in danger any more.
The Embassy has been “actively continuing” to help citizens in the disaster zones affected by the quake and works to determine locations of the remaining six citizens, the Ministry said, noting that the death of two Georgian citizens was confirmed.
The Georgian Embassy in Ankara is operating two of the hotlines, on the numbers +905336903040 and +905392208280, while the General Consulate in Istanbul is accepting calls through the number +905418184400 and the General Consulate in Trabzon on +905413262226.
In the latest figures released on Tuesday, at least 5,000 people were killed in southeast Turkey and northern Syria.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck at 4:17 a.m. on Monday, with tremors felt as far away as Lebanon and Israel.