Vietnamese Embassy, Community Join Search, Rescue Activities in Turkey

The Vietnamese Embassy in Turkey along with community have joined hands in supporting relief efforts

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Vietnamese Embassy, Community Join Search, Rescue Activities in Turkey
Rescue workers works to find victims of the earthquake in Turkey, on February 10, 2023. Photo: VGP

The Vietnamese Embassy in Turkey has sent a working delegation to southeastern provinces joining search and rescue activities for victims of an earthquake that devastated this part of the country on February 6. So far, there was no information on Vietnamese citizens dead or injured in the disaster, VNA reported.

In addition to contacting authorities and police of 10 affected localities to seek information related to Vietnamese citizens and engaging in supporting the victims, the delegation receives and gives guidance to Vietnamese forces deployed to Turkey joining search/rescue efforts, First Secretary at the embassy Nguyen Phu Tan Huong told the Vietnam News Agency.

According to Huong, some 200 Vietnamese expatriates live in Turkey, most of them are women married to Turkish men. There are a few members of the group residing in the quake-hit areas.

Huong said the Association of Overseas Vietnamese in Turkey is raising funds for the victims. For the same purpose, on February 8, the embassy held an event to donate money and necessities.

The Vietnamese community in Turkey has responded by mobilizing its humanitarian impulse and spirit, searching for other countrymen who may be in need, and coordinating collective aid for local victims.

The disaster has left approximately 6,500 buildings collapsed, at least over 21,000 people dead, and hundreds of thousands others homeless.

Vietnamese Embassy, Community Join Search, Rescue Activities in Turkey
The Vietnamese police’s rescue force deployed reconnaissance through the night. Photo: VGP

The Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence will send 76 servicemen to Turkey by February 12 night to assist the country in recovery efforts following the devastating earthquake.

At a conference in Hanoi on February 10, Maj. Gen. Pham Van Ty, Deputy Director of the Department of Search and Rescue and Deputy Chief of the Office of the National Committee for Incident and Disaster Response, Search and Rescue, was assigned to assume the role of Commander-in-Chief of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) forces in humanitarian and relief operations in Turkey.

The ministry also asked the General Department of Logistics to prepare 10 tonnes of dried food for the Turkish people.

Chief of the VPA General Staff and Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Tan Cuong said as there is no direct flight service between Vietnam and Turkey, units concerned are working with the Turkish Embassy in Vietnam and the Vietnamese Embassy in Turkey to arrange a flight carrying the Vietnamese servicemen to the country.

On the occasion, Cuong urged the dispatched servicemen to stay disciplined, actively overcome difficulties and accomplish tasks assigned by the Party, State and army, to leave a good impression on the Turkish authorities and people as well as international friends.

Vietnamese Embassy, Community Join Search, Rescue Activities in Turkey
The first rescue mission of the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security at Adana airport. Photo: VGP

Earlier, around 12:30 pm (local time – 16:30 pm Vietnam time) on February 10, an international rescue mission consisting of first 24 officers and soldiers of Vietnam arrived at the airport in Adana city, in the province of the same name, Turkey, according to VGP.

Representatives of the rescue committee and Vietnam’s Embassy in Turkey welcomed the delegation at the airport and prepared for the group of three cars to move.

After arriving at the airport, the delegation moved to Adiyaman city, 300km from the airport. Here, the delegation coordinated with international rescue forces to search under the rubble and collapsed buildings to find and rescue people trapped in the earthquake disaster on the morning of February 6.

“The field situation (in Turkey) is extremely difficult because the temperature drops to minus 6 degrees Celsius, plus collapsed buildings continue to fall. If there is no meticulous plan, the rescue force itself will be in danger,” a representative of the police force told VGP.

The quake was the most devastating disaster to shake Turkey since the 1939 Erzincan earthquake. As of February 10, last week’s earthquake claimed 21,000 lives, leaving thousands more injured, and destroyed thousands of houses. Local authorities have declared a state of emergency that requires urgent search and rescue missions.

As one of the world’s most active earthquake zones, Turkey experienced several strong earthquakes in the past, including the one with a magnitude of 7.4 in 1999 which was the most severe in decades, resulting in over 17,000 fatalities. The most recent 7-magnitude earthquake occurred in October 2022 in Aegean, causing 114 deaths and over 1,000 injured.

Hannah Nguyen