By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

(Anadolu poto)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday expressed grief after two Filipinos died from Monday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake that rocked Türkiye and Syria.

Marcos issued the statement after the Philippine Embassy in Ankara confirmed that two Filipinos in Türkiye were among the 21,000 people reported killed in the powerful quake.

“It is with deep regret that we learn of the passing of two Filipinos in the recent 7.8-magnitude earthquake that devastated Türkiye,” Marcos said in a Twitter post.

The two fatalities were among the three Filipinos who went missing following the massive earthquake.

The other Filipino who was reported missing has been found alive, the embassy said.

As of Friday, the deadly earthquake that hit Türkiye and neighboring Syria killed over 20,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless, according to reports.

At least 248 Filipinos in Türkiye were affected by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake.

Marcos said the Philippine government will continue to monitor the latest developments.

“The Philippine Embassy continues to work tirelessly to verify any and all information on Filipinos affected by the quake,” he said.

On Tuesday, Marcos said the Philippines would deploy an 85-man team to assist the quake victims in Türkiye and Syria.

The contingent, composed of Philippine military personnel, engineers, and health workers, already arrived and started Friday their mission to conduct search, rescue, relief and other assistance to the quake-hit areas. (PNA)