Thai volleyballers confirmed safe in Turkey, Prayuth extends condolences

The Hagia Sofia mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: Oberazzi / CC-BY-2.0
The Hagia Sofia mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: Oberazzi / CC-BY-2.0

The Thai Volleyball Association confirmed last night that the national women’s volleyball team is safe in Turkey following a devastating earthquake that has killed thousands there and in Syria.

Thai volleyball association president Somphon Chaibangyang assured fans that he had been in contact with athletes Ajcharaporn “Pure” Kongyot and Chatchuon “Bumbim” Moksri, who were both competing in Turkey.

“Both of them were safe because the city of Istanbul, where they were staying, is far from the epicenter of the earthquake,” the association said in a statement.

He added that the players thanked fans for their concern.

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey on Monday, destroying thousands of buildings there and in Syria. Its epicenter was located in Turkey’s western Gaziantep province. As of today, the estimated death toll has risen above 8,000.

It was reported that there were approximately 20 Thais living in the affected areas, according to the Thai embassy in Ankara. While there were no reports of any Thai nationals killed or injured, some of their homes were destroyed, forcing them to seek shelter from Turkish authorities.

After the earthquake struck, the embassy flew its flag at half mast in mourning.

Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha gave his condolences in a statement published by the Foreign Affairs Ministry:

“On behalf of the Government and the people of Thailand, I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the Government and the people of Türkiye, and especially to the bereaved families.”

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