‘Türkiye tragedy worst in world’; global teams step up rescue efforts


Indian NDRF team in Turkey

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By Duygu Çağla BAYRAM                           

Ankara (Turkey), February 8: Intense global efforts are underway to rescue people trapped in the debris of buildings after devastating earthquakes and subsequent hundreds of aftershocks left miseries in Türkiye not seen for several decades in any parts of the world. Currently, 96,670 search and rescue personnel are working in the field. There are 5,309 foreign search and rescue personnel in action.

As many as 77 field hospitals have been established in 10 provinces, which faced the fury of the earthquakes. The facilities are equipped with surgical intervention, as trained medical teams along with doctors have reached the country from all parts of the world. A total of 19,000 people were evacuated yesterday, and 30,000 will be evacuated on Wednesday, informed the local officials.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that, “Türkiye facing one of biggest disasters not only in its history, but also in world.” Just with an interval of nine hours, magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 on the Richter scale shook the country, which were followed by numerous strong aftershocks, which struck southern Türkiye on Monday. Türkiye, which lies on major fault lines, has a history of earthquakes, as the country sits atop the Anatolian tectonic plate, which is placed right in the middle of the Eurasian and African plates. On the third day of the two destructive independent earthquakes, at least 6,444 buildings collapsed, while 8,574 people were dead, and 49,133 others were injured in 10 cities of Türkiye, President Erdoğan announced.

And so far more than 600 aftershocks have jolted the southern part of the country. Türkiye announced seven days of national mourning, while also declaring a three -month emergency in 10 quake-hit provinces. Schools are postponed nationwide until February 13. Schools in 10 quake-hit provinces are postponed until February 20. The people are in the 58th hour of the earthquake. While the rescue teams are racing against time, they are also carrying out efforts amid the cold and snowy weather conditions.

Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said that the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) teams have reached Gaziantep, which is one of the worst affected place, and they are carrying out the rescue efforts. International rescue efforts have got boost with the arrival of the specialists from several countries such as Mexico, Japan and even Ukraine, which is facing war with Russia. Even Nepal is sending relief measures to Turkey. As many as 23 countries have so far sent rescue teams. Azerbaijan, India, Pakistan, China, Japan, the US, Russia, El Salvador, Mexico, and from almost all over the world rescue teams have reached the earthquake-hit country. India, Spain, Italy, etc., have also mobilised field hospitals.

Heart-wrenching videos and photographs have emerged of the grief-stricken people in the country who have lost their family members in the aftermath of earthquakes. Rescue teams have been able to save a few dozen who had been under the debris for several hours. (With inputs from New Delhi).

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