NEW DELHI: A National Disaster Response Force team on Tuesday departed for Turkey to help in relief and rescue operations in the country where thousands have died after it was jolted by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake, according to officials.
The orange dungaree-clad personnel of the federal contingency force are accompanied by two search dogs, four-wheeled vehicles and communication setup, the officials said.
A total of 101 personnel drawn from two teams based in Ghaziabad near Delhi and Kolkata along with equipment have boarded an Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17 aircraft to Turkey, a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) officer told PTI.
This is part of the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) measures announced by the Indian government on Monday for the earthquake-hit Turkey and neighbouring areas, the officer said.
The teams will help rescue people trapped under the collapsed structures and render all assistance as required by the local authorities there, he said.
According to the officer, the team also includes women rescuers.
In the past, the NDRF has been a part of two such international operations — the 2011 Japan triple disaster (earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown) and the 2015 Nepal earthquake.
The government on Monday decided to rush NDRF teams along with medical aid and relief material to Turkey following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s instructions to offer all possible assistance to the country.
The earthquake on Monday killed more than 4,000 people and flattened thousands of buildings in Turkey and neighbouring Syria. It was centred in Turkey’s southeastern province of Kahramanmaras and was felt as far away as Cairo.