India, other nations rush aid, rescuers to Turkey, Syria after deadly earthquake
Turkey, Syria earthquake updates: A team of the NDRF personnel with a specially trained dog squad along with necessary equipment, including an array of medical supplies, advanced drilling machines, and other crucial tools required for the aid efforts, departed for Turkey for search and rescue operations.
India has dispatched the first batch of relief material to Turkey aboard an Indian Air Force aircraft even as rescuers searched through the frigid night into Tuesday, hoping to pull more survivors from the rubble after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed more than 3,800 people and toppled thousands of buildings across a wide region.
Hours after the announcement made by the Prime Minister's Office, a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel with a specially trained dog squad along with necessary equipment, including an array of medical supplies, advanced drilling machines, and other crucial tools required for the aid efforts, departed for Turkey for search and rescue operations.
"India's Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) capabilities in action. The 1st batch of earthquake relief material leaves for Turkiye, along with NDRF Search and Rescue Teams, specially trained dog squads, medical supplies, drilling machines and other necessary equipment," Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs (MEA) tweeted.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and wished for a speedy recovery of the injured. Modi also instructed officials to offer all possible assistance in coping with the aftermath of the earthquake.
“Anguished by the loss of lives and damage of property due to the earthquake in Turkey. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon,” Modi said in a tweet.
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Turkish Ambassador to India Firat Sunel expressed his gratitude towards the Indian government's offer of assistance and said that "a friend in need is indeed a friend".
He also mentioned a Turkish proverb, "Dost kara gunde belli olur", which means "a friend in need is a friend indeed".
Tens of thousands who were left homeless in Turkey and Syria faced a night in the cold. In the Turkish city of Gaziantep, a provincial capital about 33 km from the epicentre, people took refuge in shopping malls, stadiums, mosques and community centres. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared seven days of national mourning.
US President Joe Biden called Erdogan to express condolences and offer assistance to the NATO ally. The White House said it was sending search-and-rescue teams to support Turkey's efforts.
The quake, which was centred on Turkey's southeastern province of Kahramanmaras, sent residents of Damascus and Beirut rushing into the street and was felt as far away as Cairo.
Other countries sending relief materials:
> The European Union has mobilised search and rescue teams to help Turkey, while the 27-nation bloc's Copernicus satellite system has been activated to provide emergency mapping services. The EU said it’s also ready to offer help to Syria through its humanitarian assistance programs.
> Russian rescue teams from the emergencies ministry are preparing to fly to Syria, where Russian military deployed in that country already has sent 10 units comprising 300 people to help clear debris and search for survivors. The Russian military has set up points to distribute humanitarian assistance. Russia also has offered help to Turkey, which has been accepted.
> The Israeli Army said it's sending a search and rescue team of 150 engineers, medical personnel and other aid workers to Turkey.
> Greece is sending Turkey a team of 21 rescuers, two rescue dogs and a special rescue vehicle, together with a structural engineer, five doctors and seismic planning experts in a military transport plane.
> Germany said it is coordinating its aid response with EU partners and readying deliveries of emergency generators, tents, blankets and water treatment equipment.
> Britain is sending 76 search-and-rescue specialists with equipment and dogs, as well as an emergency medical team, to Turkey. The UK also said it’s in contact with the UN about getting support to victims in Syria.
> Lebanon’s cash-strapped government is sending soldiers, Red Cross and Civil Defence first responders, and firefighters to Turkey to help with its rescue efforts.
> Jordan is sending emergency aid to Syria and Turkey on the orders of King Abdullah II.
> Egypt has pledged urgent humanitarian aid to Turkey.
> Swiss rescue dog service REDOG is sending 22 rescuers with 14 dogs to Turkey. The government said it would also send 80 search and rescue specialists to the country, including army disaster experts.
> The Czech Republic is sending Turkey a team of 68 rescuers, including firefighters, doctors, structural engineers and also experts with sniffer dogs.
> Japan is sending a group of about 75 rescue workers to Turkey.
> Mexico’s foreign affairs secretary said the country will send equipment and rescue specialists to Turkey.
> Austria has offered to send 84 soldiers from a military disaster relief unit to Turkey.
> Spain was preparing to send two Urban Search and Rescue teams to Turkey with 85 personnel, and a contingent of volunteer firefighters.
> Italy’s Civil Protection Agency has offered assistance to Turkey. A fire-fighting team was preparing to leave from Pisa, and the Italian military says transport flights will carry equipment as well as health and other personnel.
> France is dispatching rescue teams to Turkey.
> Poland is sending Turkey 76 firefighters and eight trained dogs, with equipment.
> Romania is sending specialized personnel and material to Turkey on two military aircraft.
> Croatia is sending 40 men and 10 dogs, rescue equipment and vans to Turkey.
> Serbia is sending 21 rescuers and three liaison officers to Turkey.
> Montenegro is sending at least 24 firefighters to Turkey.
> Moldova's president says 55 rescue workers have been sent to Turkey.
(With inputs from agencies)