Arrival of Pakistani rescue personnel and aid supplies in Turkey
RAWALPINDI: Two rescue teams were sent to Turkey on orders of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir on Tuesday as the country grapples with the devastating effects of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
The death toll on Tuesday morning was reported to have crossed 3,000 in Turkey as aid teams continued to pull people out of the rubble. Turkey and its neighbouring Syria saw entire apartment blocks toppled by the earthquake which also wrecked hospitals, and left thousands more injured or homeless.
According to the most recent announcement from Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), around 8,000 people have been evacuated from 4,758 buildings that were demolished in the earthquakes a day earlier.
The hunt for survivors was impeded throughout the night by the freezing winter weather, which also made things worse for those who were left homeless or trapped under the wreckage. The army’s media wing (ISPR) said that two Pakistan Army relief teams have left to support the current rescue efforts and that the military leadership of Pakistan has expressed heartfelt sympathy with the people impacted by the catastrophic earthquake in Turkey.
The aid teams left in the wee hours of Tuesday on a special Pakistan Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft and arrived in Turkey during the morning hours. They are scheduled to remain there until the completion of the operation.
According to the ISPR, the support from Pakistan Army includes the Urban Search and Rescue Team, which includes specialists, sniffer dogs, search equipment, and a medical team comprising army doctors, nursing staff and technicians. Additionally, aid supplies including a 30-bed mobile hospital, tents, blankets and other relief items have also been sent.
Another 52-member rescue and relief team has also been dispatched to Turkey, it should be emphasised. Following approval from the Punjab government and Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Rescue 1122 Secretary Rizwan Naseer granted the go-ahead for the 52-member specialised search and rescue team to depart for Turkey (PDMA). He said that the Pakistan Rescue Team, recognised by the UN, was departing for immediate support work. The National Disaster Management Authority had received instructions in this regard from the prime minister.