India has stepped up aid to Turkey and Syria in search and rescue operations after two powerful earthquakes jolted both countries, along with numerous aftershocks which were as devastating.
The death toll from earthquakes on Monday in Turkey and Syria is said to have crossed the 11,000 mark on Wednesday.
Three National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been sent to the quake-hit areas in both countries. This includes search and rescue teams, two IAF aircraft carrying a 30-bed field hospital, materials, medicines, and equipment, under ‘Operation Dost’.
This emergency relief assistance also included three truckloads of protective gear, emergency use medicines, ECG machines, and other medical items.
Over 6 tons of emergency relief assistance reached Syria and were received at the Damascus airport by the Deputy Minister of Local Administration and Environment Moutaz Douaji.
The NDRF teams have also reached Gaziantep, the epicenter of the earthquake in Turkey, and commenced search and rescue operations.
‘Under #OperationDost, India is sending search and rescue teams, a field hospital, materials, medicines and equipment to Türkiye and Syria. This is an ongoing operation and we would be posting updates.’ tweeted Union External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar.
The death toll is expected to rise as hundreds of collapsed buildings unearth the bodies of people who probably died in their sleep, when the quake hit in the early hours of Monday.
The initial quakes wreaked havoc on hospitals, airports and roads, knocked down more than 6,400 buildings and ruptured gas pipelines in Turkey.
Seismologists predict that the 7.8 magnitude earthquake may be one of the deadliest of the decade, due to a rupture of over 100 km between the Anatolian and Arabian plates.
At a media briefing, Secretary (West) in the MEA, Sanjay Verma said while one Indian national has gone missing in one of the affected areas in Turkiye, while 10 others are stuck in some remote parts, but have been reported safe.
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