Central government on Wednesday said one Indian is missing ever since the huge earthquake in Turkey on Monday, which has killed nearly 9,000 people so far.
"We set up a control room in Turkey's Adana. 10 Indians are stuck in remote parts of affected areas but they are safe. One Indian national who was on a business visit to Turkey's Malatya is missing and he has not been traced for the last two days. We're in touch with his family and the company in Bengaluru which employs him. We have also deployed four MEA personnel to cooperate and help in the operation and coordinate between the Turkish authorities and our teams" said MEA Secretary West Sanjay Verma.
He also said that the mission, which was set up in Ankara, had received 75 per cent of calls asking for more information and assistance. While addressing the presser, Verma gave more details about the Indian community residing in Turkey. There are 3,000 Indian nationals in Turkey, about 1,850 residing in and around Istanbul about 250 in Ankara, and the rest of the others are residing across the country.
"The Indian community in Turkey is in fatal danger... Three Indians approached us and have moved to a safer habitation and are doing all right," Secretary (West) said. He further informed that as on February 6, an earthquake struck the southern part of Turkey and Syria and multiple reports kept escalating the magnitude of the tragedy and affecting 10 provinces but 7 of them are in severe condition and about 435 aftershocks occurred.
He said that in Turkey, 8,574 people were killed and 49,133 were injured and 6,444 buildings collapsed while in Syria, the death toll climbed to 1,262 and 2,285 sustained injuries. While giving the details about the medical assistance that India is providing to Turkey and Syria, National Disaster Response Force DG Atul Karwal said that under 'Operation Dost,' the first team landed at Adana airport and the second was diverted to Urfa because Adana was crowded. Both of them are being converged at Nurdagi which is in Gaziantep Province, one of the worst affected areas.
"The third team's requirement was sent to us. It was under preparation in Varanasi and was airlifted and brought to Delhi today. I met them at Hindon Airport. In the next few hours, they would depart with 51 rescuers, a canine complement and 4 vehicles," Karwal said. "We have more teams in reserve because we don't know how many more teams will be required. The damage is extensive across a very large area and we are prepared to render whatever help any additional teams that India can provide to Turkey in this time of crisis," he added.
An Indian Air Force C17 flight with over 50 personnel from the NDRF and a specially trained dog squad along with necessary equipment, including medical supplies, drilling machines and other equipment required for the aid efforts departed for Turkey on Tuesday. The specially trained Labrador breed dog squad, which is an expert in sniffing and other key skills during rescue operations in disaster-hit regions, left India on Tuesday for Turkey with two separate teams of NDRF-- a 51-member team which arrived there in the morning and another 50-member team which reached by the evening.
With inputs from agencies
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