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Eight Zimbabwean Students Safe As Turkey Earthquake Claims 5000 Lives

Eight Zimbabwean students studying in Turkey are safe following the devastating earthquake that struck parts of Turkey and Syria early Monday morning.

In an interview this morning, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Turkey, Alfred Mutiwazuka, stated that he had not received reports of Zimbabweans killed in the earthquake.

“We have a sad situation here but from a Zimbabwean perspective, we know of eight university students learning here,” he said.

“All of them are safe and have been given tents by rescue teams.

“We will continue to check if there are any other Zimbabweans who might have been affected.”

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Ambassador Mutiwazuka stated that he has been unable to visit the affected area because Turkish authorities do not want rescue operations to be disrupted.

According to Turkish authorities, over 5000 people have died as a result of major earthquakes in Turkey’s southeastern region, which shares a border with Syria.

The earthquake in Syria has killed an additional 1444 people.

The initial magnitude 7.8 tremor early Monday morning brought down buildings as people slept, and it was followed by a magnitude 7.6 earthquake hours later, along with several aftershocks.

The United States Geological Survey said the initial earthquake was centred about 33km (20 miles) from Gaziantep, a major Turkish city and provincial capital.

A number of countries have promised help in the search and rescue operations being hampered by cold and snow.

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