By Shen Jun, Yang Yi, People’s Daily
A devastating earthquake that recently took place in southern Türkiye and near-border regions in Syria has killed and injured lots of people in the two countries and leveled buildings.
The Chinese government has launched an emergency humanitarian assistance mechanism at the earliest time possible to provide emergency aid to the two quake-hit countries.
As of Feb. 12 local time, the China Search and Rescue Team, which is under unified coordination and command of the Chinese government, had freed six survivors, including a 50-year-old man who was jointly saved by Chinese and Turkish rescuers on the afternoon of Feb. 12 after four hours of efforts.
So far, the team has sent 206 rescuers in 13 batches to quake-hit areas in Türkiye, who saved six survivors and found eight victims. Besides, rescuers from Hong Kong also extracted three survivors from rubble.
Eighty-two members of the team arrived in Türkiye on Feb. 8, local time, to join earthquake relief efforts in the country. On the afternoon of the same day, they reached Antakya, a harder-hit city in the southern province of Hatay, Türkiye.
They started working before dawn on Feb. 9 and extracted a pregnant woman from the debris at dusk in cooperation with their Turkish counterparts. Later, they freed two more females, even the “Golden 72 hours” for rescue had passed.
On Feb. 10, the China Search and Rescue Team saved another female survivor in the city, and two days later, an adult male was extracted from earthquake debris near the place where the fourth survivor was discovered.
At the same time, several civil Chinese rescue teams also joined the rescue efforts in Türkiye.
Eight earthquake relief experts from the Rescue Team of Ramunion in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang province, arrived in Türkiye on Feb. 8 and rescued a man and a child on the same night.
A day later, the team extracted a family of five from a collapsed civil house in the town of Belen in Hatay province.
The Blue Sky Rescue Team, a Chinese civil relief squad, also has 127 members on rescue missions in the Turkish city of Malatya, which is near the epicenter. After dozens of hours, they saved a female from the rubble.
Besides, Chinese construction machinery manufacturer Zoomlion, Beijing Emergency Rescue Association, Green Boat Emergency Rescue and Shenzhen Rescue Volunteers Federation also sent rescuers to Türkiye. As of 9 a.m. on Feb. 10, 288 rescuers from 15 civil Chinese rescue teams had arrived in quake-hit areas in Türkiye.
China’s first batch of 40,000 blankets to Türkiye for earthquake relief departed Shanghai for Istanbul on Feb. 11, Beijing time. Other supplies, including 1,000 tents and medical equipment, will be arriving in the coming days.
The first batch of medical supplies donated by the Red Cross Society of China to Syria arrived in Damascus on Feb. 9.