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India says more relief teams on standby to help earthquake victims in Türkiye


India has so far dispatched four flights carrying relief material, rescue personnel, and medical teams to Türkiye to help the victims of Monday’s massive earthquakes that killed thousands of people, officials said.

India has also launched “Operation Dost” (Friendship Operation) to send more rescue teams and relief to earthquake-hit Türkiye and Syria.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs officials, four flights carrying relief materials and medical teams have been sent to Türkiye, while one more aircraft is being sent.

Talking about the safety of Indian nationals in Türkiye, Sanjay Verma, a senior official at the Foreign Ministry, said one Indian national is missing after Monday’s earthquake.

Addressing a press briefing in New Delhi organized by the Ministry of External Affairs, officials said rescue teams have already reached Türkiye and have been deployed in the earthquake-hit areas.

“We have more teams in reserve because we don’t know, how many more would be required. The damage is extensive, across a very large area and we are prepared to render whatever help India can provide to Türkiye in time of crisis,” Atul Karwal, director general of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), told the reporters.

He also added that India is rushing the third team of NDRF personnel to Türkiye soon.

Earlier in the day, India’s Minster of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said under Operation Dost, “India is sending search and rescue teams, a field hospital, materials, medicines and equipment to Türkiye and Syria.”

According to details the minister shared on social media, four C-17 planeloads of relief material, equipment, and personnel have been sent to Türkiye.

Fırat Sunel, ambassador of Türkiye to India, on Wednesday said the first 72 hours after an earthquake are of vital importance for search and rescue operations.

“And Indian National Disaster Response Force search and rescue teams are already in the region at this crucial time,” he wrote on Twitter.

At least 9,057 people were killed and 52,979 others injured after two strong earthquakes jolted southern Türkiye on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

Besides, at least 2,530 people were killed and hundreds injured in Syria in the series of powerful earthquakes centered in southern Türkiye that jolted the wider region, according to figures compiled on Wednesday.

Source : Anadolu Agency