India’s earthquake relief | First C-17 with aid and personnel reaches Turkey, second C-17 enroute

Indian Army is mobilising a field hospital and a medical team to Türkiye.

February 07, 2023 08:05 am | Updated 05:10 pm IST - New Delhi

The first batch of earthquake relief material leaves for Türkey, along with NDRF Search & Rescue teams, specially trained dog squads, medical supplies, drilling machine and other necessary equipments.

The first batch of earthquake relief material leaves for Türkey, along with NDRF Search & Rescue teams, specially trained dog squads, medical supplies, drilling machine and other necessary equipments. | Photo Credit: Twitter/MEAIndia

The first batch of Indian relief material and personnel reached Türkiye in an Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17 Globemater transport aircraft on February 7 while a C-17 is enroute as part of the Humanitarian And Disaster Relief (HADR) to earthquake hit Turkey and Syria. Indian Army is mobilising a 30-bed Field Hospital along with 99 medical team.

“Second C-17 with self-contained National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams including dog squads, Search and Rescue Equipment (SAR) equipment, extrication tools and vehicles leaves for Türkiye,” confirmed Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Twitter. “India continues to support the people of Türkiye in their hour of need.”

The first Indian C-17 with more than 50 NDRF SAR personnel, specially trained dog squads, drilling machines, relief material, medicines and other necessary utilities and equipment reaches Adana, Türkiye, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said in the morning on Twitter.

“It is important to share that in our first helping hand flight, 5 of the 51 Search and Rescue Team members are women! Very proud to say this,” said Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West) in the MEA.

The first C-17 got airborne for Türkiye at 3.09 a.m., a source in the security establishment said. This aircraft is part of a larger relief effort that will be undertaken by the IAF along with other Indian organisations, IAF said on Twitter on the first C-17.

Dispatch of aid to Syria has been slightly delayed with the departure of a C-130 aircraft with medicines for Damascus scheduled to depart shortly. Turkey and Syria were hit by massive earthquakes on Monday killings hundreds of people in both countries.

“Two more C-17s are planned for Turkey late evening today with 60 Para Field Hospital and personnel,” sources added.

The field hospital has been mobilised by the Indian Army hours after announcement of assistance, the Army said. “Agra based Army Field Hospital has despatched an 99 member medical team,” the Army said. The medical team comprises of critical care specialist teams to include orthopaedic surgical team, general surgical specialist team, medical specialist teams apart from other medical teams.

Also read:Why Turkey is prone to devastating earthquakes?

“The teams are equipped with X-ray machines, ventilators, Oxygen generation plant, Cardiac monitors and associated equipment to establish a 30 bedded medical facility,” Army added.

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that India will provide “all possible assistance” and in a meeting led by P. K. Mishra, Principal Secretary to the PM attended by the Cabinet Secretary and representatives of relevant ministries it was decided to send “search and rescue teams of NDRF and medical professionals “immediately”.

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