African leaders commiserate with Turkey, Syria following deadly earthquakes

By Jerry Omondi & E K Benj

Rescuers and civilians look for survivors under the rubble of collapsed buildings in Kahramanmaras, close to the quake’s epicentre, the day after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country’s southeast, on February 7, 2023. /CFP

African leaders have sent messages of commiseration to Türkiye and Syria following deadly earthquakes on Monday.

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck Türkiye’s southern province of Kahramanmaras at 4:17 a.m. local time (0117 GMT), followed by several aftershocks. A second major quake with a magnitude of 7.6 struck the same area again at 1:24 p.m. local time (1024 GMT).

The powerful earthquakes have killed over 5,000 people across a swathe of Türkiye and northwestern Syria so far.


The World Health Organization has warned that the death toll may rise dramatically as rescuers find more victims.

As the world comes together in support, African leaders have also expressed their condolences and sent messages of solidarity with the two countries.

“The president wishes those injured a speedy recovery and assures that the prayers and thoughts of Nigerians are with the many affected by this severe disaster and its aftershocks,” Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement.

As a steadfast friend to Turkey and Syria, President Buhari says Nigeria is ready to offer its full support in any way possible,” it added.

Other presidents also sent their messages on social media.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has since announced a three-month state of emergency across 10 provinces worst affected by the earthquake.


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