Russia has dispatched over a hundred emergency response specialists to aid in the search and rescue efforts in Türkiye and Syria in the wake of powerful earthquakes that struck the nations, the Russian Emergencies Ministry said on Monday.
Four of the ministry’s transport planes with more than 100 rescue workers on board in total have been sent to the affected countries at the direct order of President Vladimir Putin, the ministry’s spokesman, Roman Okhotenko, said.
The group includes seven canine teams and an airmobile hospital with 40 medics capable of providing “qualified medical assistance” on the spot, the spokesman said. All specialists sent to Türkiye and Syria were supplied with the necessary equipment needed for search-and-rescue missions, Okhotenko added.
The teams include professionals with extensive experience in natural disaster management who are prepared to carry out their missions under the most difficult circumstances, the ministry said in a Telegram post.
Two powerful earthquakes claimed more than 1,600 lives in Türkiye and 968 in neighboring Syria, as well as leaving thousands injured and destroying thousands of buildings.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the quake the “biggest disaster since the 1939 Erzincan earthquake,” which killed an estimated 32,000 people. Ankara declared the highest nationwide emergency level in the wake of the disaster.
According to Erdogan, priority has been given to search and rescue efforts, with over 9,000 people involved in these efforts. The Turkish government also issued a statement on Monday requesting aid from any nation that could provide it.
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