RIYADH: The Saudi cabinet voiced its solidarity with Turkiye and Syria following the devastating earthquakes that ripped through the border area between the two countries killing thousands and injuring thousands more.
The statement was made during Tuesday’s weekly Saudi Cabinet meeting, chaired by King Salman, as the death toll exceeded 5,000, with tens of thousands more injured.
But international agencies like the WHO said the casualty number would grow significantly to thousands more.
The Cabinet statement published via the state news agency SPA said “the Kingdom expressed its solidarity” with the countries impacted by the earthquakes.
The first quake – of a magnitude 7.8 - struck the border area between Turkiye and Syria at about 4a.m. local time on Monday causing buildings to topple to the ground, their occupants caught unaware as they slept.
The second – 7.7 magnitude - quake struck the same area shortly before 2p.m. local time as search and rescue workers dug frantically through the rubble to find survivors.
There were two further earthquakes of a magnitude 5.6 and 5.7 on Tuesday morning as well as 312 aftershocks since the first quake struck.
The Cabinet also praised the bilateral ties between the Kingdom and Iraq and reiterated the Kingdom’s support for efforts made by the Iraqi government to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity for its people.
It also reviewed reports on regional and international conferences recently held in Saudi Arabia to keep pace with the rapid developments and contribute to finding solutions to global challenges.