NDRF reaches Turkey’s Gaziantep, starts search and rescue operation

Gaziantep [Turkey], February 8 (ANI): India’s National Defence Response Force team reached Turkey’s Gaziantep and started the search and rescue operation after two deadly earthquakes hit the country.

In a video, Indian rescue teams seeing at the epicenter of the earthquake in Turkey engaged in relief operations.

On Monday, a 7.8 magnitude tremor struck Turkey at 04:17 local time (01:17 GMT) at a depth of 17.9km near the city of Gaziantep. Within 9 hours, a second earthquake of magnitude 7.6 jolted the Kahramanmaras’s Elbistan district.

Meanwhile, the toll from Momday’s deadly earthquake soared to more than 9,000 and the injury count was at 52,000, the Anadolou news agency reported on Wednesday, adding that more than 100,000 rescuers were digging through the rubble across 10 provinces of Turkey to look for survivors.

There have been several precedents in the recenT past of India mobilising emergency relief and assistance to countries struck by natural disasters. And, responding to Turkey’s desperate call for assistance, New Delhi has dispatched four medical assistants to the country. Further, six aircraft from India took off for Turkey and Syria with humanitarian aid and a field hospital.

"Under OperationDost, India is sending search and rescue teams, a field hospital, materials, medicines, and equipment to Turkiye and Syria. This is an ongoing operation and we would be posting updates," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted on Wednesday.

According to aid organisations and rescuers, the number of fatalities is expected to rise further as many people are still buried beneath the rubble.

The Turkey-Syria earthquake death toll currently stands at 9,487, CNN reported citing officials as rescue operations continue in the disaster-hit countries. India dispatched its fourth batch of aid, including 54 members of the medical team from the Indian Army as part of the country’s Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief on Tuesday.

Recently, over 6 tonnes of emergency relief assistance reached Syria and was received at the Damascus airport by Deputy Minister of Local Administration and Environment Moutaz Douaji. It included 3 truck-loads of protective gear, emergency use medicines, ECG machines, and other medical items, the Ministry of External Affairs said in an official statement.

In the wake of an earthquake that struck Northwest Syria on February 6, 2022, causing massive destruction and loss of lives, India had dispatched 6 tonnes of emergency relief assistance through a special aircraft of the Indian Airforce to Syria.

India, over the years, has been extending humanitarian, technical, and developmental assistance to Syria through bilateral and multilateral channels. Consignments of food and medicines have been supplied to Syria from time to time, including during the pandemic.

Two Artificial Limb Fitment Camps (Jaipur Foot) have been organized in Syria in December 2020 and recently in October-November 2022, the MEA release read. (ANI)