Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, while noting with deep sadness the significant loss of life and extensive damage as a result of the massive earthquakes that has affected sections of Turkey and Syria, provided an update on the status of Jamaicans in that region.
“Reports from our Mission in Geneva and our Honorary Consul in Istanbul indicate that no Jamaicans have been affected, but I had been advised indirectly and informally of a Jamaican woman who has been living in Turkey, is safe and will be leaving that country later this week,” the foreign minister said on Tuesday as search and rescue efforts continued in the wake of Monday’s deadly earthquake.
The minister noted that international search and rescue operations have been widely activated and recognised the quick response of the global community in providing assistance.
Johnson Smith continued: “We offer our deepest condolences to the governments and people of Turkey and Syria at this time. We hope that, given the scale of the crisis, assistance will reach those who need it quickly. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as the situation continues to unfold.”
In the meantime, Johnson Smith noted, within the context of this natural disaster, the efforts under way by the ministry to develop a portal to allow Jamaicans travelling overseas temporarily to register themselves.She said that she would soon announce the date of its availability, noting that it will be an important tool in helping to locate Jamaicans who may be caught up in emergency situations while travelling overseas and in need of assistance.