BRUSSELS — The European Union expressed its condolences to Turkey after a major earthquake Sunday while NATO offered help to recover from an event that authorities fear may have left hundreds under rubble.
‘We are greatly saddened by the news of the terrible earthquake that has struck the Van province in south-east Turkey,’ said EU president Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.
‘Our thoughts are with the injured and the families of the victims and we should like to convey our condolences to the people and authorities of Turkey,’ they said in a joint statement.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen also expressed sadness over the 7.3-magnitude earthquake in Turkey, which is a member of the 28-nation alliance.
‘On behalf of NATO, I would like to convey my sympathy and solidarity to all those who were affected, to the Turkish people and the Turkish government,’ he said.
‘NATO stands ready to assist our ally Turkey, if needed.’
A seimological institute said up to 1,000 people could lie dead under the rubble of dozens of collapsed buildings in eastern Turkey.