NEW DELHI: India on Monday said it will be sending rescue and medical teams to Turkey after a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake toppled hundreds of buildings and killed over 1,300 people in the southeastern area of the country close to the Syrian border.
The Prime Minister’s Office said that a meeting was held to discuss immediate relief measures and it was decided that India would dispatch “search & rescue teams, medical teams, along with relief material in coordination with the Turkish government”
“Two teams of NDRF, comprising 100 personnel with specially trained dog squads and necessary equipment, are ready to be flown to the earthquake hit area for search and rescue operations. Medical teams are also being readied with trained doctors and paramedics with essential medicines. Relief material will be dispatched in coordination with the Turkish government and the Indian Embassy in Ankara and Consulate General office in Istanbul,” the PMO said in a release.
The meeting was chaired by principal secretary to the PM, Dr PK Mishra, and attended by the Cabinet Secretary, representatives of the Ministries of Home Affairs, NDMA, NDRF, Defence, MEA, Civil Aviation and Health & Family Welfare officials.
Anguished by the loss of lives and damage of property due to the Earthquake in Turkey. Condolences to the bereaved… https://t.co/myVx7MXkUx— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1675662368000
Expressing his anguish over the loss of lives, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said India was ready to provide all possible help to the earthquake-affected people in Turkey. “We are all looking at the destructive earthquake that hit Turkey. There are reports of the deaths of several people as well as damage. Damages are suspected even in countries near Turkey. The sympathies of the 140 crore people of India are with all earthquake-affected people,” he said.
“India stands in solidarity with the people of Turkey and is ready to offer all possible assistance to cope with this tragedy,” the PM said, tagging a tweet by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the quake.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar also condoled the loss of lives in the earthquake. “Deeply distressed by the loss of lives and damage in the earthquake in Türkiye. Have conveyed to FM @MevlutCavusoglu our condolences and support at this difficult time,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.
Deeply distressed by the loss of lives and damage in the earthquake in Türkiye. Have conveyed to FM… https://t.co/VQm0VHdIWF— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) 1675663568000
Quake hits war-torn region
The quake, felt as far away as Cairo, was centered north of Gaziantep, a Turkish provincial capital.
It struck a region that has been shaped on both sides of the border by more than a decade of civil war in Syria.
On the Syrian side, the swath affected is divided between government-held territory and the country’s last opposition-held enclave, which is surrounded by Russian-backed government forces. Turkey, meanwhile, is home to millions of refugees from that conflict.
The opposition-held regions in Syria are packed with some 4 million people displaced from other parts of the country by the fighting. Many of them live in buildings that are already wrecked from past bombardments. Hundreds of families remained trapped in rubble, the opposition emergency organization, called the White Helmets, said in a statement. Strained health facilities and hospitals were quickly filled with wounded, rescue workers said.
“We fear that the deaths are in the hundreds,” Muheeb Qaddour, a doctor, said by phone from the town of Atmeh.
Turkey sits on top of major fault lines and is frequently shaken by earthquakes. Some 18,000 were killed in powerful earthquakes that hit northwest Turkey in 1999.
The US Geological Survey measured Monday’s quake at 7.8.
At least 20 aftershocks followed, some hours later during daylight, the strongest measuring 6.6, Turkish authorities said.
Source: The Times of India