Country despatches rescue teams and relief goods via three aircraft.
Pakistan Army dispatched two contingents of urban search and rescue teams comprising rescue experts, sniffer dogs, search equipment and a medical team.
Islamabad: Pakistan government quickly responded to requests for international assistance after the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
On Tuesday, Pakistan sent medical squads, search and rescue teams, and relief materials via two military aircraft and one passenger flight to assist Turkey’s response. Pakistan’s government called for “tangible and timely material support” as the confirmed death toll in Turkey and Syria soared above 5,000 after a powerful earthquake on February 6. On Tuesday, Turkey’s death toll rose to at least 3,419 with 20,534 people injured. Another 1,602 have been confirmed killed in Syria.
First planeload of relief goods from Pakistan reached
The first batch of relief goods sent via Pakistan Air Force (PAF) C-130 Hercules aircraft reached Turkey on Tuesday morning. The aircraft carried members of search and rescue teams and blankets from PAF Base, Nur Khan has landed in Turkiye,” according to a PAF spokesperson.
Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said they have dispatched search and rescue teams to help as hundreds are still believed to be trapped under rubble in Turkey and Syria.
Pakistan Army media department said that they have dispatched two contingents of urban search and rescue teams comprising rescue experts, sniffer dogs, search equipment and a medical team comprising army doctors, nursing staff, and technicians along with the 30-bed mobile hospital, tents, and blankets among other relief items.
Turkey has been at the forefront of humanitarian efforts in times of crisis in Pakistan. When floods ravaged Pakistan last year, Turkey was among the first countries to send relief goods via planes, trains, trucks, and ships.
Pakistan to send more aid planes
On Tuesday morning, a 51-member rescue team left Lahore for Turkey via national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK707 with seven tons of rescue equipment as part of the Pakistan government’s contributions to rescue efforts, PIA said. On February 7 afternoon, Pakistan dispatched another C-130 aircraft carrying nine tons of relief goods including tents and blankets to the quake-hit region of Adana from Lahore city. From February 8 onwards, PIA flights will transport around 15 tons of relief goods to Turkey and Syria on a daily basis, according to the official statement.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will leave for Turkey on Wednesday to express solidarity with the earthquake victims, the information minister said. “It breaks the heart to witness the sheer scale of unfolding human tragedy. Solidarity should translate into tangible & timely material support for suffering humanity,” the prime minister said on Twitter. The All Parties Conference (APC) to discuss security and economic challenges in Pakistan has been cancelled due to the prime minister’s visit.