06.Feb .2023 19:08

Georgia Sends Rescuers, Equipment to Turkey

Georgia Sends Rescuers, Equipment to Turkey
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Georgia was quick to respond to requests for international assistance after Monday’s devastating earthquake in Turkey, deploying rescue teams and offering aid.

“The employees of the Interior Ministry’s Emergency Management Service will be deployed to deal with the consequences of the earthquake in Turkey,” the government administration of Georgia said in a statement.

Prior to that, Georgian leaders, ministers were sending their condolences and support messages to Turkey.

“Mourning the tragic loss of lives in the deadly earthquake in Kahramanmaraş,” President Salome Zourabichvili tweeted. “Georgia stands with the people of Turkey in this difficult time. I send my deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wish strength to the first responders on the scene.”

“My deepest sympathies to the people and government of Turkey over the loss of lives following the devastating earthquake in Kahramanmaraş,” PM Irakli Garibashvili wrote on Twitter and wished “a speedy recovery” to all the injured. “We stand with the people of Turkey and are ready to provide any assistance needed.”

Similar to Georgia, governments around the world have sent rescue teams, aid to Turkey.

The European Union said it was urgently dispatching search and rescue teams from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania to Turkey to help. In a statement, the bloc also said it was directing its satellite system to support Turkish efforts in mapping the quake and its aftermath.

Greece said it was sending a C-130 transport aircraft to help neighboring Turkey, along with 21 members of the Greek fire service’s special disaster management unit, rescue dogs, a rescue vehicle, medics and the head of the government’s organization for disaster management, the Greek Civil Protection Agency said.

Austria said it will deploy 84 soldiers from its Disaster Relief Unit to Turkey to support rescue operations in the region as of Tuesday, according to a government news release.

The country will also pledge three million euros ($3.2 million) to support aid organizations in their work on the ground.

India said it was sending medical squads, search and rescue teams and relief material to assist Turkey’s response. India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, said he was “anguished” by the loss of life in Turkey and Syria.

The U.S. national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said in a statement that the United States was “profoundly concerned” by the earthquake and stood “ready to provide any and all needed assistance” to Turkey. President Biden had directed USAID and other federal government partners to assess the U.S. response options, the statement added.

Ukraine, which is battling against a Russian invasion, said it “stands ready to send a large group of rescue workers” to Turkey. “We are working closely with the Turkish side to coordinate their deployment,” the country’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said on Twitter.

The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, said he had ordered the authorities “to make immediate preparations to provide medical, and search and rescue assistance.” Israel’s military said it was preparing to send an aid delegation to Turkey.

Early Monday morning, a strong 7.7 earthquake, centered in the Pazarcik district, jolted Kahramanmaras and heavily affected several provinces of Turkey.

A new 7.6 magnitude earthquake at 13.24 p.m. (1024GMT) struck southern Turkey, which was centered in the Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras.

At least 1,541 people were killed and 9,733 others injured.

A total of 120 aftershocks occurred, and 2,834 buildings collapsed, Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) said. 

The total number of search and rescue personnel assigned in the region is 9,698.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was shaken by the "biggest disaster" since the 1939 Erzincan earthquake in the last century.

The earthquake was also felt in several countries in the region, including Lebanon and Syria.

The total death toll in Syria is 820. SANA reports 430 across government-controlled areas and the "White Helmets" group, officially known as the Syria Civil Defense, reported 390 deaths in opposition-controlled areas.

Two Georgians are among those who died in Turkey's devastating earthquake, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Source: BMG and News Agencies