“Right now, 11 countries have mobilised resources to support Turkey, within the framework of the European Civil Protection Mechanism. We have also already conveyed our availability to the European Union, to join this support team, namely for rescue and in the context of medical emergencies”, he said.

At the entrance to the National Republican Guard Emergency Protection and Relief Unit Day ceremony, José Luís Carneiro highlighted that the National Civil Protection Emergency Authority is in dialogue with the European authorities, to mobilise national support.

"I would like to leave a word, naturally of sadness and solidarity, to the Turkish authorities, namely to those responsible for the Embassy in Portugal", he also said.

An earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale, hit the border area between Turkey and Syria today.

The last provisional balance of victims increased to 641 dead, and the authorities warn that the number could be even more serious due to the degree of destruction.

The quake occurred at 04:17 (01:17 in Lisbon), 33 kilometres from the provincial capital of Gaziantep, in southeastern Turkey, at a depth of 17.9 kilometres.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), minutes after the first earthquake, another earthquake measuring 6.7 degrees on the Richter scale was recorded at a depth of 9.9 kilometres.

The tremors were also felt in Lebanon and Cyprus, according to correspondents for the France–Presse agency.