Operation Dost: Operation Dost: India sends 6 plane loads of relief material, rescue personnel to Turkey, Syria following earthquakes | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Underscoring India’s role as an early responder following the massive earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, ministry of external affairs (MEA) on Wednesday said six plane loads of personnel and material amounting to over 140 tonnes were sent to the two countries where the death toll neared 12,000.
“India has been able to send more than 250 personnel, specialised equipment and other relief material amounting to more than 135 tons to Türkey on 5 C-17 IAF aircrafts. As regards Syria, more than 6 tons of emergency relief assistance has been delivered through a C130J IAF aircraft to Damascus,” said an MHA statement.
The search and rescue teams to Turkey include three self-sustained teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), comprising 150 specially-trained personnel, along with dog squads, added the MHA statement. “Their equipment allows for detection, location, access and extrication of people trapped under collapsed structures. The NDRF teams are rendering assistance in rescue operations at Gaziantep,” the statement read.
A team of MHA officials, including two who can speak Turkish, have also been deployed to assist the teams involved in rescue and relief operations.
The relief material contained three truck loads of medicines and medical equipment, besides a 30-bed field hospital with specialists. The field hospital is being set up by 99 specially-trained personnel at Iskenderun in Hatay province of Türkey. Once functional, it will be a 30-bed fully-equipped medical facility with operation theatre, X-ray machines, ventilators, etc, said the MHA.
The MHA statement said following the massive earthquakes on 6 February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had directed that all possible assistance be extended to the affected people.
“In pursuance of this, Operation Dost was launched to provide necessary support in terms of search and rescue (SAR) efforts as well as medical assistance. This has involved a whole-of-government approach with coordination among various agencies. This swift response led to the first C-17 IAF aircraft with a specialised SAR team leaving for Türkey within hours of a request of assistance being received,” read the statement.
The statement added the deployment of the teams is being coordinated with the local authorities through Indian Embassy, which has set up a Camp Office at Adana.
Regarding Indians stuck in Turkey, the MHA said the embassy is ascertaining their well-being. “The embassy has also set up a Help Desk. Our officials are reaching out to some 10 Indian nationals who are reportedly stranded. Efforts are also ongoing to trace a missing national.”
In Syria, the MHA said, the consignment was received by the deputy minister of Local Administration and Environment, Moutaz Douaji, at Damascus airport.

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