Two rescue teams were sent to Turkey on orders of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir on Tuesday as the country grapples with the devastating effects of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
The death toll on Tuesday morning was reported to have crossed 3,000 in Turkey as aid teams continued to pull people out of the rubble.
Turkey and its neighbouring Syria saw entire apartment blocks toppled by the earthquake which also wrecked hospitals, and left thousands more injured or homeless.
Nearly 8,000 people have been rescued from 4,758 buildings destroyed in the tremors a day earlier, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said in its latest statement.
Freezing winter weather hampered search efforts for survivors through the night while also worsening conditions for people trapped under rubble or left homeless.
Pakistan’s military leadership has expressed deep sympathy with the people affected by the severe earthquake in Turkey, said the army’s media wing (ISPR) as it announced that two Pakistan Army aid teams have left to lend their support to rescue efforts presently underway.
The aid teams left in the wee hours of Tuesday on a special Pakistan Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft and arrived in Turkey during the morning hours. They are scheduled to remain there until the completion of the operation.
According to the ISPR, the support from Pakistan Army includes the Urban Search and Rescue Team, which includes specialists, sniffer dogs, search equipment, and a medical team comprising army doctors, nursing staff and technicians.
Additionally, aid supplies including a 30-bed mobile hospital, tents, blankets and other relief items have also been sent.
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It may also be noted that another 52-member rescue and relief team has also been sent to Turkey.
Rescue 1122 Secretary Rizwan Naseer gave a go-ahead to the 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.
The prime minister had issued directions in this regard to the National Disaster Management Authority.