Turkey's President Erdogan has declared a three-month state of emergency across areas hit by Monday's deadly earthquakes. Two extremely powerful quakes hit Turkey just nine hours apart. The first quake was a magnitude 7.5; the second registered 7.8 on the Richter scale. They are among the biggest earthquakes ever to hit Turkey. They caused huge loss of life and damage in southeast Turkey and in neighbouring Syria. President Erdogan warned of the danger of a "large number of aftershocks". He said: "Our teams are working to reach the disaster areas.…We are rapidly continuing the search and rescue operations…despite the difficulty of the conditions and the terrible weather."
The international community has promised support for Turkey and Syria. The EU has sent more than 1,150 rescue workers. Emergency medical teams will provide "essential health care for the injured and most vulnerable people affected by the earthquakes". Mexico has sent a team of dogs and rescuers who are experts in locating survivors in the rubble. U.S. President Joe Biden said he was "deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquakes". He promised to give "any help that is needed". Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: "We mourn with the victims and fear for those buried." Syria will also receive a lot of help. It has already suffered for years from war.
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