Rescue teams from Europe help in relief efforts in quake-hit southern Türkiye


Rescue teams from numerous European countries have been actively involved in the ongoing relief efforts in southern Türkiye after the region was hit by strong earthquakes on Monday.

Spain’s Military Emergency Unit (UME) tweeted on Wednesday that its teams continued to search among the rubble of collapsed buildings for possible survivors in the Islahiye district of Gaziantep province.

Madrid had announced a day earlier that it would mobilize health professionals and a field hospital in the earthquake zone.

The country’s Defense Ministry also said two navy ships loaded with aid materials were also on their way to Türkiye to support relief operations.

EMAK, the special disaster team of the Greek Fire Services, has so far rescued four people, three of them children, from under the debris of buildings in Hatay province.

Public broadcaster ERT reported that a total of 18 personnel from EMAK and the country’s emergency care services EKAV would be dispatched to Türkiye.

From Poland, a total of 15 rescuers in four teams from the State Fire Services (PSP) have been operating in the Besni district of Adiyaman province.

The PSP’s commander Andrew Bartkowiak said on Twitter Wednesday that the teams had rescued eight people so far.

An Italian contingent consisting of 50 rescuers from the country’s fire services and Civil Protection Ministry has also been operating since Monday night in Hatay.

The Italian Navy ship San Marco will also depart soon for Türkiye with a field hospital provided by the northwestern Piedmont region, Civil Defense Minister Nello Musumeci announced.

Teams from Germany’s international search and rescue agency (ISAR), which consist of 50 rescuers, are also in Hatay.

The ISAR said on Twitter that its personnel in the Kirikhan district rescued a 16-year-old boy and a woman.

France’s General Directory of Civil Defense and Crisis Management tweeted that a 73-strong team was working alongside local Turkish rescuers and “doing everything possible to rescue the victims trapped under the rubble” in Osmaniye province.

Separately, Belgium’s Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that the country was preparing to send an emergency medical team to set up a field hospital and provide medical assistance to those in need.

At least 8,574 people were killed and 49,133 others injured after two strong earthquakes on Monday jolted southern Türkiye, the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes, centered in the Kahramanmaras province, struck 10 provinces and affected more than 13 million people.

Several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon, felt the strong tremors that struck Türkiye in the space of less than 10 hours.

More than 96,670 people in multiple search and rescue teams are currently conducting operations in the field, according to AFAD.

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