NDMA sends another relief consignment to quake-hit Turkey

By Staff Reporter | The Express Tribune Feb 13, 2023

In continuation of relief assistance for the earthquake-affected areas of Turkey, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Sunday sent one more relief consignment.

The consignment containing a 4.7-tonne load, including 1,446 winter blankets and tents, was sent via a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight today.

A day earlier, a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) aircraft carrying tents and relief goods arrived in earthquake-hit Adana, Turkey. The aircraft had carried 16.5 tonnes of humanitarian assistance relief goods from the people of Pakistan for the earthquake-affected people of Turkey.

“[The] PAF is also making all-out efforts to repatriate stranded Pakistanis in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pakistan Embassy in Turkey,” the PAF said in a statement.

The press release added that eight Pakistani passengers would also be evacuated to Pakistan.

Earlier in the week, two rescue teams were also sent to Turkey on orders of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir. Additionally, aid supplies including a 30-bed mobile hospital, tents, blankets and other relief items were also sent.

Moreover, Rescue 1122 Secretary Rizwan Naseer gave the go-ahead to a 52-member specialised search and rescue team to leave for Turkey after approval from the Punjab government and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA).

He said the United Nations-certified Pakistan Rescue Team was leaving for immediate support work.

Devastating earthquakes

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said late Saturday that at least 24,617 people have been killed by the two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Turkey earlier this week, adding that 32,071 search and rescue teams are continuing their operations.

Further, he said that Earthquake Crimes Investigation Departments have been established on directions from the Justice Ministry in the 10 provinces affected by the quakes in southeast Turkey.

Earlier, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) reported that 80,278 people have been injured in the earthquakes.

The 7.7- and 7.6-magnitude quakes, centered in Kahramanmaras province, were felt on Monday by 13 million people across 10 provinces, including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa.

Several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon, also felt the strong tremors that struck Turkey within 10 hours.

According to the AFAD statement, at least 218,406 search and rescue personnel are working in the field.

Meanwhile, Environment, Urbanisation, and Climate Change Minister of Turkey Murat Kurum said inspections were conducted at 171,882 buildings in 10 provinces.

"We determined that a total of 120,940 structures in 24,921 buildings have collapsed, are in need of urgent demolish, or have been severely damaged," he said, adding that from the buildings examined in the 10 provinces, 122,279 structures were slightly damaged or undamaged.

After the initial earthquake, the Turkish Armed Forces created an air aid corridor to deliver search and rescue teams to the region. A large number of aircraft for transport, including A-400Ms, carried search and rescue teams as well as vehicles to the region. Ambulance planes are also using the air aid corridor.

The Turkish parliament approved a three-month state of emergency on Thursday in order to speed up aid efforts. The country is also observing seven days of national mourning in the wake of the disaster.

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