BRUSSELS, Feb 7 (KUNA) -- Syria has not activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism until now to help the victims of the devastating earthquake, Balazs Ujvari, a European Commission spokesperson for humanitarian aid said in a press conference in Brussels Tuesday.
"The mechanism can be activated by any country in the world, not only EU member states or associated countries, but any country around the world," he said.
"If we receive an activation request then we can immediately relay this request through our crisis management center here in Brussels to all the (EU ) member states," added the spokesman.
Meanwhile, an European Commission statement said, "in Syria, the EU is in contact with its humanitarian partners on the ground and is funding humanitarian organizations that are carrying out search and rescue operations, while also providing water and sanitation support, and distributing blankets and hygiene items in affected areas."
"They are also assessing the level of damage and needs inside Syria in the aftermath of yesterday's earthquake to adapt their response.
The EU is considering all viable options to deploy additional resources inside Syria in support of the affected populations," it noted.
The EU's executive body said 25 European search and rescue teams are heading to the hardest hit areas in Turkiye to help the first responders on the ground, 11 of these teams have already arrived.
In addition, two medical teams have been sent via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to provide emergency healthcare to people affected. In total, 1,185 rescuers and 79 search dogs have been offered by the European countries.
These numbers could rise further.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked Turkiye and Syria yesterday morning has already taken the lives of thousands, while many people are still stuck under the rubble.
After the activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism by Turkey, 19 EU Member States have offered teams in coordination with the EU's Emergency Response Coordination Centre and the Turkish authorities.
The EU's Emergency Response Coordination Centre has also put together an EU Civil Protection Team of experts from 11 Member States who have been immediately deployed to Turkiye to support the operations, it added. (end)