Ten search and rescue teams from EU countries head to Türkiye after powerful earthquakes

Ten Urban Search and Rescue teams have been quickly mobilised from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania to support first responders in Türkiye, following a devastating earthquake that has left more than 1200 people dead in Türkiye and Syria and caused widespread injuries and destruction.

Italy and Hungary have offered their rescue teams to Türkiye as well, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and European Commission for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said in a joint statement on February 6.

An earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck the region of Gaziantep in Türkiye at 3.17am local time, impacting neighbouring Syria as well. It was followed by a succession of several powerful aftershocks, and at 1.24pm, by an earthquake measuring 7.5, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre.

In an immediate response, the European Union has mobilised search and rescue teams for Türkiye following its request to activate the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the joint statement said.

The statement said that the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre is in direct contact with the authorities in Türkiye to coordinate further support if needed.

The EU’s Copernicus satellite system has also been activated to provide emergency mapping services.

The EU is also ready to support those affected in Syria, which has also reported casualties, through its humanitarian assistance programmes, the statement said.

(Photo: EC Audiovisual Service)

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