Czech Republic to Send Rescue Team to Help Turkey After Quakes

A magnitude 7.5 earthquake follows devastating 7.8 earthquakes in southeast Turkey, also causing damage in northern Syria. At least 1,014 deaths were reported in Turkey, while 582 people died in Syria.

Czech Republic is to send a team of people to Turkey as part of international efforts after a massive earthquake hit the country, killing hundreds and wreaking massive devastation.

The 68-strong specially trained rescue team includes sniffer dogs, a structural engeneer and a doctor.

The Urban Search and Rescue Team is made up of firefighters from Prague and Moravia-Silesia.

It has helped abroad on previous occasions, for example, in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2020 after an explosion in the port that killed two hundred people and injured 6,000 others.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the first earthquake killed 912 and wounded 5,385 people in Turkey alone, describing the event as the “biggest disaster” since the 1939 Erzincan earthquake, according to Turkish state-owned news agency Anadolu.

Around 2,818 buildings were toppled, the head of state added.

The EU said it is also ready to offer support to Syria through its humanitarian assistance programs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended condolences and an offer of assistance to Ankara and Damascus, Moscow’s state news agency Tass reported.



In the Syrian capital, Damascus, buildings shook and many people rushed onto the streets in fear.

Ismail Abdullah, a member of the rescue team told Al Jazeera that the situation was “catastrophic in every sense of the word,” adding that the death toll is likely going to increase dramatically as hundreds of families are still stuck under the rubble.

The earthquake jolted residents in Lebanon from their beds, shaking buildings for about 40 seconds. Many residents of Beirut left their homes and took to the streets or got in their cars to drive away from buildings.

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