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NDRF teams start rescue and relief operations in earthquake-hit Turkey, Ambassador Firat Sunel thanks India for the help

The NDRF said that two teams, comprising 101 personnel, along with a four-member canine squad have been sent to help rescue operations in Turkey

On Wednesday, the Indian National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams reached the Gaziantep region in Turkey and began the relief operations. The city was the epicentre of the earthquake that struck the country earlier this week.

This is a day after the earthquake-stricken country Turkey received medical supplies from India on Tuesday along with rescue and medical workers, including an Army medical team and members of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). S Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs, said on Twitter that the first flight had arrived at Adana, Turkey on Tuesday. 

According to the reports, three Boeing C-17 Globemaster planes of the IAF departed for Turkey yesterday, two carrying members of the NDRF and one carrying an Army medical team. In the late afternoon, a C-17 Globemaster carrying a second Army medical team also took off, and in the evening, a Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport plane carrying medical supplies took out for Damascus, Syria.

Along with a 99-member medical team, India has also sent X-ray machines, ventilators, an oxygen generation plant, cardiac monitors and associated equipment to establish a 30-bed medical facility on the spot. The Army confirmed the development and said, “The medical team comprises critical care specialist teams, including orthopaedic surgical team, general surgical specialist team, medical specialist teams apart from other medical teams.”

The NDRF meanwhile said that two teams, comprising 101 personnel, along with a four-member canine squad have been sent to help rescue operations. Reports mention that the NDRF has kept two more teams on standby.

“We have sent our two teams along with four dogs, four-wheeled vehicles, chipping hammers, cutting tools, first-aid medicines and communication set-up. Our first team, including five women personnel, left for Turkey at 3 am on Tuesday in an IAF aircraft,” said NDRF Director General Atul Karwal.

“In every team, there are five women rescuers, a doctor and paramedics. We have also sent some vehicles, especially the light vehicles, with both the teams,” NDRF DIG (Operations) Mohsen Shahidi added.

“All the team members have received training to handle such situations. This is not the first time the NDRF is going out of the country. The NDRF has been part of two similar international operations – the 2011 Japan triple disaster (earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown) and the 2015 Nepal earthquake,” Shahidi said.

Officials claim that Indian servicemen were greeted by representatives of the Turkish government and the Indian Embassy when they arrived at the Adana airport in Turkey in order to continue their deployment to the devastated areas.

Meanwhile, Turkish Ambassador to India, Firat Sunel thanked India for extending help and said, “Dost’ is a common word in Turkish and Hindi. We have a Turkish proverb- ‘Dost kara günde belli olur’ (a friend in need is a friend indeed). Thank you very much India.”

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