US response to Turkey earthquake ‘already underway’, Blinken says

The deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake toppled hundreds of residential buildings in Turkey and Syria early Monday morning local time, according to reports from The Associated Press. The death toll is expected to rise as rescue workers continue to dig through the rubble in both countries.

Late Sunday night, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the White House was “deeply concerned” by early reports of the devastation caused by the earthquake, adding that the United States was “ready to provide all the ‘help needed’ to the region.

“President Biden has asked USAID and other federal government partners to assess U.S. response options to help those most affected,” Sullivan said in a statement. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with the Turkish government.”

The quake was felt as far away as Cairo and affected a strip of land stretching from Aleppo in Syria to Diyarbakir in Turkey, according to the Associated Press.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.) pledged to work with the White House to bring aid to the region.

“House Democrats will work with President Biden and the administration to provide USAID support and assistance as we assess a comprehensive response, and I will work with my colleagues at all levels of government. to provide additional assistance in this time of urgent need. My prayers are with all those affected by this huge and tragic loss of life,” Jeffries said in a statement Monday.


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