Adevastating earthquake of 7.8 magnitude struck Turkey and Syria on February 6 killing more than 15,000 people in the two countries. President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared the 10 provinces affected by the earthquake in southern Turkey as disaster zone, imposing a state of emergency in the region for three months.
In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep grief over the loss of lives and damage of property due to the earthquake in Turkey. In response to a tweet by the President of Turkey, PM Modi said; “Anguished by the loss of lives and damage of property due to the earthquake in Turkey. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. India stands in solidarity with the people of Turkey and is ready to offer all possible assistance to cope with this tragedy.”
With India taking swift action and rushing aid comprising 100 personnel of the National Disaster Relief Force and specially trained dog squads to help in search and rescue operations, it became one among the 70 countries which rushed assistance to the two beleagured nations.
The Turkish President announced plans to open up hotels in the tourism hub of Antalya to the West, to temporarily house the people affected by the avalanche.
Meanwhile, aftershocks, freezing temperatures and damaged roads continued to hamper rescue operations. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the number of casualties could exceed 20,000 and millions could have been affected.
An unknown number of people remain trapped and efforts to find survivors were frustrated by frigid conditions. Poor internet connections and damaged roads between some of the worst-hit cities in Turkey’s south, home to millions of people, also hindered rescue teams.
A spokesperson for the United Nations Office for the coordination of humanitarian assistance said the flow of critical aid from Turkey to northwest Syria had been temporarily halted due to damage to roads and other logistical issues. She added: “We don’t have a clear picture of when it will resume.
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