12 Feb 2023

Turkey Syria Earthquake: 7th IAF Aircraft Leaves With Relief Material; Toll Can Cross 50,000 Mark, Warns UN

New Delhi/Ankara: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said as part of the continuing humanitarian assistance efforts, the seventh Indian Air Force aircraft airlifted relief material, medical supplies and consumables to earthquake-hit Syria and Turkey under 'Operation Dost' on Saturday evening.

Jaishankar, posting pictures of the aircraft carrying the material, tweeted: "7th Operation Dost aircraft leave for Syria and Turkey".

"The flight is carrying relief material, medical aid, emergency and critical care medicines, medical equipment and consumables."

The sources said the flight is headed towards Damascus and after offloading relief material there, it will fly to Adana. The aircraft is carrying more than 35 tonnes of relief material, of which 23 tonnes is going to the relief efforts in Syria and about 12 tonnes to Turkey.

Toll could double from its curent level of 28000

Earthquake has caused dangerous devastation in Turkey and Syria. The death toll is continuously increasing in both the countries. So far 28,000 people have been confirmed dead in both countries. The number of injured has crossed 80,000 thousand.

The death toll from the massive earthquake in Turkey and Syria will "double or more" from its current level of 28,000, UN relief chief Martin Griffithssaid. Arriving in Turkey's southern city of Kahramanmaras, the epicentre of the first earthquake, Martin Griffiths said, "I think it is difficult to estimate precisely as we need to get under the rubble but I'm sure it will double or more."

Missing Indian national's body found 

An Indian national missing in Turkey since the massive earthquake on February 6 was found dead on Saturday in the rubble of a hotel where he was staying. The person's name is said to be Vijay Kumar Gaud and age is 35 years. He was a resident of Uttarakhand and had gone to Turkey on 23 January. 

Kumar's body was found under the rubble of a 24-storey hotel in Malatya town. The family members identified the body by looking at the tattoo on Kumar's left hand. Kumar is survived by his wife and two children.

Gaud's wife and son, who were hoping against hope for some positive news, were inconsolable as their worst fears had come true. Friends and relatives flocked to Gaud's house to express their condolences to the bereaved family.

People being treated in field hospital of Indian Army

Also, people are being continuously treated in the field hospital of the Indian Army set up in Turkey's Hatay province. So far 106 people have been admitted here. Earlier, on February 9, the Indian team had also rescued a 6-year-old girl from Noordagi town.

Cuba has sent its White Coat Army to Syria. It consists of 32 doctors who will treat the earthquake survivors.

According to UN's World Food Program, more than 635 crore rupees are needed to feed the earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey.

India is leaving no stone unturned to help Turkey and Syria under Operation Dost. On February 10, a one-year-old girl from Nurdagi town was pulled out alive from the rubble after five days by an Indian Army team. 

India's trained dogs engaged in rescue

Trained dog squad of India also involved in rescue operation of Turkey

There is also a dog squad in the team of Indians sent to Turkey for rescue work. These include dogs named Julie-Romeo-Honey and Rambo. Which are of Labrador breed and specially trained. They are expert in smelling and other vital skills during rescue operations in disaster affected areas.

Due to the earthquake, 2 lakh 84 thousand people in Syria and 5 lakh 90 thousand people in Turkey have been displaced.

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