BEIRUT — Caretaker Environment Minister Nasser Yassin announced Monday that Lebanon will send a team of approximately 30 rescue workers to Turkey to help with relief efforts after a deadly earthquake hit the country, causing destruction and killing hundreds.
The powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake and its aftershocks were felt in Lebanon, causing panic and forcing some residents to flee their homes.
"A Lebanese rescue team formed by the army, the Civil Defense and others will leave this afternoon for Turkey," announced Yassine after Monday's cabinet meeting at the Grand Serail in Beirut. "This is the minimum we can do."
The army also announced on Twitter that it would send 20 military engineers to Turkey.
Caretaker Minister of Public Works Ali Hamieh, in charge of coordination with Syria, said "Lebanon is ready to fully assist Syria, which has always stood by Lebanon in all the crises it is going through. This is our duty."
More than 1,500 people were killed in southern Turkey and neighboring Syria by the powerful earthquake, followed a few hours later by a very strong aftershock of magnitude 7.5, according to the latest provisional assessment.
Tremors were recorded as far away as Greenland, passing through Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon.