One Indian missing in quakes-hit Turkey, others safe

Around 250 Indians, including women, are on the ground helping in relief work, and 130 tons of relief supplies have already been sent to Turkey in four C17 aircraft.

Published: 08th February 2023 07:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th February 2023 07:58 PM   |  A+A-

Indian NDRFHQ teams involved in search and rescue operations in Gaziantep. (Photo | Twitter)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: One Indian, an employee of a firm in Bengaluru, who was on a business trip to Turkey has been missing since the earthquake struck the country. The death toll in the series of earthquakes in Turkey and Syria crossed 11,000 on Wednesday evening. 

"One Indian who was on a business trip to Turkey is missing and we hope to get some information on him. There were 3000 Indians in Turkey and all of them are safe. Around 10 are stuck in different parts of the country due to the breakdown of services but they are all in a safe zone. Our mission in Ankara has set up a desk to receive any queries and until now around 75 people have reached out for information," said Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West) Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

The MEA has deployed two Turkish-speaking officers and four other personnel who are working with Turkish authorities. Around 250 Indians are on the ground helping in relief work, which includes women too, and 130 tons of relief supplies have already been sent to Turkey in four C17 aircraft. One relief aircraft has also been sent to Syria. There are no Indians in the rescue team in Syria.

Meanwhile, the relief and rescue operations which is titled `Operation Dost’ has mobilised three contingents under HADR (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief).

"Our relief and rescue operations include teams that can sustain themselves for at least a fortnight with food and equipment while undertaking the relief and rescue operations. We have sent ready-to-eat meals, warm clothes and also generator sets and 2000 litres of diesel as there is a fuel shortage. Women too are a part of the rescue team. We have sent our own vehicles too. All the passports and documentation were facilitated by the MEA so things moved faster. We have deployed our teams from Ghaziabad and Kolkata and Varanasi,’’ said Atul Karwal, NDRF DG.

ALSO READ | Children pulled from rubble as Turkey-Syria earthquake death toll rises above 11,200

India can provide more teams for help, in case the demand arises. The Indian team is on the ground like 65 other teams from different nations and is working closely with the Spanish team and ensuring that there is no duplication of work.

"We do regular HADR activities for such situations and mobilise our resources. Planning is important. Within 12 hours of the meeting that took place for sending the rescue and relief equipment, we were ready with the aircraft for take off. We are available around the clock for any such assistance,’’ said Air Marshal, B R Krishna.

Meanwhile, Syria has reported close to 1216 casualties. Sanctions don’t apply during disasters so India has sent relief to Damascus.

External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar, is in touch with his counterpart in Turkey and channel lines are open with Syria too.

"We follow the G20 Mantra of one earth one family (Vasudeva Kutumbakam) and this is no time to seek geo strategies so if Syria is in crisis we will help, sanctions don’t cover such challenges,’’ Verma added.


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