Turkey and Syria earthquake: Three British nationals confirmed missing as disaster death toll hits over 5,000

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly confirmed the number of missing British nationals following the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Three British nationals have been confirmed to be among the missing people following a devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday. A further 35 people have been affected by the disaster as the death toll rises to over 5,000.

The news was confirmed when Foreign Secretary James Cleverly spoke to the Commons on Tuesday. He did not specify whether the British people were missing or affected in either Turkey or Syria.

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James Cleverly said: “We know that three British nationals are missing and the Foreign Office’s Crisis Response Hub is working to support the at least 35 British nationals who have been directly affected by these earthquakes. We assess that the likelihood of large-scale British casualties remains low."

He explained more than 6,000 buildings have collapsed and  the electricity and gas infrastructure of both countries have been severely damaged. It is understood many of the 3.5 million Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey reside in the provinces that have been gravely impacted by the earthquake.

High ranking officials, such as Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay, have revealed that the confirmed death count in both countries now stands at around 5,021. The Turkish disaster management agency confirmed that it has received over 11,000 reports of collapsed buildings of which 5,775 have been confirmed.

Turkey and Syria earthquakes: what we know so far

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  • The first earthquake hit while the population slept and measured 7.8 magnitude
  • 5,021 deaths confirmed with at least 3,381 in Turkey alone
  • More than 7,800 have been rescued from 10 provinces, many more missing in the rubble across both countries
  • Experts have predicted that the death toll could rise to over 20,000
  • More than 10 search and rescue teams from the EU have been mobilised, US/UK/China/Israel/Russia/Canada all offered their assistance
  • Turkey’s main nuclear power plant, Akkuyu, remains unaffected by the quake

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