Artsakh’s Minister of State Ruben Vardanyan has offered condolences to the families of the victims of the strong earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey on Monday.
“As a result of the devastating earthquake, there are many human victims in both Syria and Turkey, including among Armenians. My condolences to the families and relatives of all the victims of the tragic disaster,” Vardanyan said.
“I wish them strength and endurance to overcome this difficult test. Unfortunately, we know all too well the human tragedies a devastating earthquake can cause. Our people are very familiar with that pain,” he added.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of our compatriots. The life and fate of every Armenian is important. What is important is both 3 million and 120 thousand and one Armenian, whether they are in Armenia, Artsakh, Syria or in the Armenian world in general,” the State Minister said.
A rescue operation is under way across much of southern Turkey and northern Syria following a huge earthquake that has killed more than 1,700 people.
The 7.8 magnitude quake struck near Gaziantep (Aintap) in the early hours of Monday while people were asleep.
A new 7.5-magnitude tremor hit at around 13:30 local time (10:30 GMT), which officials said was “not an aftershock.”
Turkish state media is reporting more than 1,000 people were killed in Turkey alone after the first quake, with more than 5,300 wounded.
Syrian authorities are reporting 783 dead and more than 2,000 injured.