Syria-Turkey earthquake: India rushes aid to temblor-hit countries

Team India Sentinels Tuesday 7th of February 2023 09:10 PM

An NDRF rescue-and-relief team before boarding an IAF plane for Turkey. (Photo: Foreign ministry/Twitter)

New Delhi: India has ramped up its aid-and-rescue mission to Syria and Turkey, which were hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake with multiple follow-on quakes on Monday killing thousands of people and trapping even more in the rubbles of collapsed buildings. 

On Tuesday, an Indian Air Force C-17 Globemaster III flight with more than 50 National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel along with a dog squad, drilling machines, relief equipment, medicines and other necessary utilities reached Turkey’s Adana.

The Indian Army has also mobilized its Agra-based Army Field Hospital to send an additional 99-member medical team to set up a 30-bed medical facility in Turkey. Arindam Bagchi, the foreign ministry spokesman, tweeted that the first component has left on an IAF C-17 with a 45-member medical team, including critical care specialists and surgeons. The plane also carried with it some critical medical equipment.

For Syria, defence sources said India is sending a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft loaded with medical supplies and rescue equipment to the Syrian capital, Damascus. It may be noted that Syria, which is under severe international sanctions, is getting much of the international aid routed through the United Nations, unlike Turkey, which is getting aid directly from individual countries. 

Russia is leading the rescue-and-relief mission in Syria, at this moment.

Earlier on Monday, the junior foreign minister, V Muraleedharan, visited the Turkish embassy and extended condolences to Firat Sunel, Ankara’s ambassador in New Delhi, for the deaths and devastation caused by the earthquake and promised India’s help to Turkey.

On Tuesday, Muraleedharan visited the Syrian embassy and extended condolences to Bassam al-Khatib, Damascus’s ambassador in New Delhi, for the destruction caused by the earthquake and promised India’s expeditious assistance and support.

India is likely to send more aid and rescue workers and medical teams to the two countries in the coming days.

According to the latest reports, the death toll due to the earthquake that shook Syria and Turkey has crossed 5,000 and the number of wounded is estimated to have crossed 16,000. The death toll in Syria is said to have touched the 1,600-mark. Thousands of people are still believed to be trapped under the debris of collapsed buildings.


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