Maldives to donate 1M tuna cans to Turkey, Syria devastated by earthquake

People and emergency teams search for people in the rubble in a destroyed building in Gaziantep, Turkey, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. A powerful quake has knocked down multiple buildings in southeast Turkey and Syria and many casualties are feared. (AP Photo/Mustafa Karali)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Friday, has announced that the Maldivian government would donate in-kind assistance of one million cans of tuna to Turkey and Syria devastated by a catastrophic earthquake.

The Spokesperson of the President’s Office told Sun on Friday that the decision was taken by President Solih in an effort to provide humanitarian and relief aid to both nations as they work to overcome the losses caused by the earthquake.

“The decision was taken by the President. We are gearing up for its implementation. The President has conveyed condolences to the leaders of both nations, and also pledged our assistance on all possible fronts,” he said.

Both Turkey and Syria will receive 500,000 tuna cans each.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck 23 kilometers east of Nurdagi, in Turkey’s Gaziantep province, at a depth of 24.1 kilometers on Monday.

A series of aftershocks reverberated through the region in the immediate hours after the initial incident. A magnitude 6.7 aftershock followed 11 minutes after the first earthquake hit, but the largest temblor, which measured 7.5 in magnitude, struck about nine hours later. More than 125 aftershocks have been recorded so far.

Search and rescue efforts are presently underway in both Turkey and Syria to safely remove those stuck under rubbles of buildings. However, the lack of electricity and cold weather in both nations have obstructed these efforts.

Over 18,900 deaths have been confirmed alone in Turkey, while the death toll in Syria has been placed at 3,337.