Update 4.50pm

Malta is to send a team of 32 people and a dog to Turkey as part of international efforts after a massive earthquake hit the country, killing hundreds and causing massive devastation. 

Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri said the Civil Protection Department had offered help to Turkey after the EU's civil protection mechanism was activated.

"Malta will send a team of people who have been trained in this field in recent months," he said on Facebook.

He later added that the team, consisting of 32 rescue workers and a dog, will fly to Turkey on a flight departing Malta after 7pm. They will land close to a location where people are feared to be still under rubble. 

Teams from the Netherlands and Romania are already on their way, according to the EU's crisis management commissioner Janez Lenarcic. 

Prime Minister Robert Abela offered solidarity to Turkey and Syria, which was also devastated by the massive 7.8 magnitude quake in the early hours of Monday. A second 7.5 maginitude earthquake hit southeast Turkey at around 1.24pm local time (10.24am GMT).

"You have Malta's unwavering support and Malta will send Civil Protection Department officials to help and provide further humanitarian assistance," he said. 

No Maltese victims

Malta's ambassador to Turkey, Theresa Cutajar, told Times of Malta that there are no reported Maltese victims among the dead and injured. 

She explained that around 80 Maltese reside in Turkey but they mostly live in Istanbul and the north of the country in areas that were not as badly affected. 

Cutajar, who is based in Ankara, said she felt a tremor at around 4.15am and took the necessary precautions and was unharmed. 

"The embassy is in contact with the special cases centre and the AFAD (Turkey's disaster and emergency management authority)", she said. 

World powers have rushed to help Turkey and Syria as they deal with a death toll reaching more than 1,200 people. 

Syrian rescue teams carry a casualty picked up from rubble after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in the government-controlled central Syrian city of Hama on February 6, 2023. Photo: AFPSyrian rescue teams carry a casualty picked up from rubble after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in the government-controlled central Syrian city of Hama on February 6, 2023. Photo: AFP

British Prime Minster Rishi Sunak tweeted that the UK was ready to help "in whatever way we can".

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent messages to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, conveying Russia's condolences and offering aid.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that his war-torn country was "ready to provide the necessary assistance to overcome the consequences of the disaster."

Spain is sending drones and a contingent from its Emergency Military Unit, a branch of the armed forces responsible for providing disaster relief, to Turkey, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said in a tweet.

Iran is ready to provide "immediate relief aid to these two friendly nations", President Ebrahim Raisi said, offering condolences on the "heartbreaking incident".

Poland is sending to Turkey a search and rescue group of 76 firemen and eight rescue dogs, Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski announced.

"Turkey can count on Poland," Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki tweeted.

The Czech fire service said it was sending a 68-member urban search and rescue team to Turkey.

Swiss President Alain Berset said the country stood ready to provide emergency relief after the "tragic" incident.

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