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India to send two more IAF planes with rescue personnel, relief materials to quake-hit Turkey
New Delhi: India will send two more C-17 Indian Air Force planes to Turkey later this evening with 60 Para Field Hospital and personnel to assist in rescue and relief operations.
According to defence officials, the Agra-based Army Field Hospital has despatched an 89-member medical team. 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 teams are equipped with X-ray machines, ventilators, Oxygen generation plant, Cardiac monitors and associated equipment to establish a 30 bedded medical facility.
Meanwhile, the first batch of aid from India, which took off from the Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad early this morning reached Adana in Turkey.
The Indian Air Force tweeted on Tuesday that a C-17, a strategic transport aircraft, left for Turkey "bearing search and rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)."
According to Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi earlier said India's Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) capabilities were put into action." The 1st batch of earthquake relief material leaves for Turkiye, along with NDRF Search & Rescue Teams, specially trained dog squads, medical supplies, drilling machines & other necessary equipment," he tweeted.
Under HADR operations for Turkey and Syria, India dispatched the first C17 airborne for Turkey at 03:09 am today while the second C17 took off around 10:00 hrs with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team.
The aircraft is part of a larger relief effort that will be undertaken by the IAF along with other Indian organisations, said the Indian Air Force.
The aid to Syrian has been meanwhile delayed with, a C130 flight for Damascus with medicines only and no personnel, delayed to this afternoon.
As per latest estimates over 4,372 people have been killed and thousands injured after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Turkey and Syria early Monday, according to officials and agencies.
Turkey and Syria were hit by three consecutive devastating earthquakes of magnitude 7.8, 7.6 and 6.0 on Monday, reported Washington Post.
Rescuers in both countries are digging with their bare hands through the freezing night hunting for survivors among the rubble of thousands of buildings.
The quake, one of the strongest to hit the region in more than 100 years, struck 23 kilometres (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi, in Turkey's Gaziantep province, at a depth of 24.1 kilometres (14.9 miles), the US Geological Survey said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences with the Prime Minister's Office saying that a meeting was held on Monday in which it was decided that "relief material would be dispatched immediately" in coordination with the Turkish government.
"Two teams of NDRF comprising 100 personnel with specially trained dog squads and necessary equipment are ready to be flown to the earthquake-hit area for search and rescue operations," the statement said.
"Medical teams are also being readied with trained doctors and paramedics with essential medicines. Relief material will be dispatched in coordination with the Government of Turkiye and Indian Embassy in Ankara and Consulate General office in Istanbul," it added.
India's Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar also extended his condolences, tweeting Monday night that he had contacted his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad.
"Expressed solidarity and conveyed our support including through supply of medicines," he tweeted.
Initially, a magnitude 7.8 quake struck early Monday at 04:17 local time (01:17 GMT) 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi, in Turkey's Gaziantep province near the Syrian border, at a depth of 24.1 kilometers (14.9 miles), the US Geological Survey said.
This was followed by a 7.5-magnitude quake around 130 kilometres north of Gaziantep, and with epicentre was in the Elbistan district of Kahramanmaras province in Turkey according to the US Geological Survey. Tremors were also felt in several neighboring countries, including Lebanon and Syria.
The third earthquake of magnitude 6.0 on the Richter scale hit Goksun, Turkey on Monday. The earthquake -- felt as far away as Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Egypt -- occurred in Kahramanmaras province, north of Gaziantep, near the Syrian border.
At least 100 aftershocks measuring 4.0 or greater have occurred since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey on Monday morning local time.
As the time from the original earthquake extends, the frequency and magnitude of the aftershocks tend to decrease. However, 5.0 to 6.0-plus aftershocks are still likely to occur and bring a risk of additional damage to structures that are compromised from the original earthquake. This brings a continued threat to rescue teams and survivors, reported CNN.
The aftershocks stretch for more than 300 kilometres (186 miles) along the fault zone that ruptured in southern Turkey, oriented from southwest to northeast and stretching from the border with Syria up through the province of Malatya. (ANI)