Several Lebanese nationals have been reported as missing in Turkey following the devastating earthquake there.
Lebanese Ambassador to Turkey Ghassan al-Muallem said the embassy is following up with Turkish authorities on the situation of five Lebanese who are “under the rubble.”
“Rescue crews have not reached the area in which the missing Lebanese are believed to be due to the vast area affected by the earthquake and the cutoff of supply and transportation routes,” Muallem said in a radio interview.
“We do not have an official tally of the Lebanese victims until the moment and we don’t know the number of the Lebanese who were present in Turkey because they had not informed the embassy (of their presence), in addition to the presence of tourists,” Muallem added, noting that “some Lebanese in the affected areas are communicating with the embassy and helping in the count of the missing.”
Al-Jadeed TV meanwhile reported that Lebanese national Mohammed Shamma and his son have been rescued from the rubble in Turkey’s Hatay province while his wife was killed.
The brother of missing Lebanese national Elias al-Haddad meanwhile urged the Lebanese state to move to “rescue the Lebanese who are trapped (under the rubble) in Turkey.”
According to the brother, Haddad was in the Ozcihan Hotel, which has partially collapsed.
Lebanese novelist and activist Dalal Zeineddine and her three sons and grandson were meanwhile killed in Hatay’s Antakya. According to media reports, she was married to a Syrian national and had moved to Turkey in the wake of the Syrian revolt.
Zeineddine has two other sons and a daughter.
The Lebanese Embassy in Syria meanwhile announced the death of three Lebanese in the earthquake and added that a Lebanese family was rescued in the Syrian province of Aleppo.
Prominent Lebanese basketball coach Ghassan Sarkis meanwhile said that he was present in Aleppo when the earthquake struck. He escaped unharmed.
“There were moments of terror when the earthquake happened,” Sarkis said.
“Huge aid is arriving in Turkey while no one is remembering Syria. This is saddening,” he added.
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