KRG sends rescue teams, aid to quake-hit Turkey

2/7/2023 11:07:29 AM
 White Helmet Syrian rescue workers walk past a collapsed building on February 6, 2022 in the town of Sarmada, in Syria's rebel-held northwestern Idlib province. AFP
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) sent its first convoy of aid to Turkey on Monday night, after a major 7.8 magnitude earthquake followed by another strong quake devastated wide swaths of Turkey and Syria, killing thousands of people.

The convoy was composed of 25 ambulances, several trucks carrying first aid, logistics and specialized rescue teams.

It included JCC (Joint Crisis Coordination) teams specializing in searching for and finding people buried under collapsed buildings, according to Rebar Ahmad, the Interior Minister of the KRG.

The KRG was also ready to send aid convoys to Syria, if they were granted access to affected areas, Ahmad said.

The quake killed more than 3,381 people and injured thousands more as thousands of buildings toppled, trapping residents under mounds of rubble.

Authorities feared the death toll would keep climbing as rescuers searched through tangles of metal and concrete for survivors in a region beset by Syria’s 12-year civil war and a refugee crisis.

Throughout the day, major aftershocks rattled the region, including one jolt that was nearly as strong as the initial quake.

The US Geological Survey measured Monday’s quake, that was centered on Turkey’s southeastern province of Kahramanmaras, at 7.8, with a depth of 18 kilometers.

Hours later, a 7.5 magnitude temblor struck more than 100 km (60m) away.

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