Sunday, March 26, 2023

Governments Around the World Send Rescue Teams After Quake

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European Union countries dispatched search and rescue teams, and the United States said it was “ready to provide any and all needed assistance” to Turkey.

Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Governments around the world were quick to respond to requests for international assistance after Monday’s devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria, deploying rescue teams and offering aid.

The European Union said it was urgently dispatching search and rescue teams from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Poland, and Romania to Turkey to help. In a statement, the bloc also said it was directing its satellite system to support Turkish efforts in mapping the quake and its aftermath.

Greece said it was sending a C-130 transport aircraft to help neighboring Turkey, along with 21 members of the Greek fire service’s special disaster management unit, rescue dogs, a rescue vehicle, medics, and the head of the government’s organization for disaster management, the Greek Civil Protection Agency said.

Statement on the powerful earthquake in southern Türkiye and northern Syria

In a joint statement, leading MEPs express their condolences to the many victims and their families, and support the immediate response of the European Union.

The Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, David McAllister (EPP, DE), the Chair of the Committee on Development, Tomas Tobé (EPP, SV), and the Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries, Isabel Santos (S&D, PT), said:

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and the terrible devastation caused by the powerful earthquake (7.8 magnitudes) in southern Türkiye and northern Syria on Monday, killing thousands of people. Our thoughts and condolences are with the many victims and their families.

We applaud and support the immediate response of the European Union, which has mobilized search and rescue teams for Türkiye, following the government’s request for the activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and the activation of the EU’s Copernicus satellite system to provide emergency mapping services.

Aware of the years-long critical humanitarian situation in northern Syria, we stand ready to back further EU action to support the people affected, particularly through the provision of EU humanitarian aid.”

Rest of the World

India said it was sending medical squads, search and rescue teams and relief material to assist Turkey’s response. India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, said he was “anguished” by the loss of life in Turkey and Syria.

The U.S. national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said in a statement that the United States was “profoundly concerned” by the earthquake and stood “ready to provide any and all needed assistance” to Turkey. President Biden had directed USAID and other federal government partners to assess the U.S. response options, the statement added.

Britain is sending equipment, rescue dogs and a team of 76 search and rescue specialists, according to the country’s foreign minister, James Cleverly. “We stand ready to provide further support as needed,” he said.

Russia’s Emergencies Ministry put 100 staff on standby and stood ready to send two planes with rescuers to Turkey, the Russian news agency Tass reported. President Vladimir Putin also said Russia was ready to provide assistance to Syria, in a telegram to the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad, according to Syrian state media.

Ukraine, which is battling against a Russian invasion, said it “stands ready to send a large group of rescue workers” to Turkey. “We are working closely with the Turkish side to coordinate their deployment,” the country’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said on Twitter.

The Israeli government said it was preparing to send search and rescue teams as well as medical assistance to Turkey. While Israel and neighboring Syria are enemy states and have no diplomatic relations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a request had been received through diplomatic channels for humanitarian aid to Syria. “I have authorized that,” Mr. Netanyahu said.

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