Bangladesh to send rescue, medical teams and supplies to Turkey after deadly quake

The fire service says it has prepared a 12-member rescue team along with a combined support team from the armed forces

Published : 7 Feb 2023, 03:34 PM
Updated : 7 Feb 2023, 03:34 PM

The government is planning to send two teams to Turkey to assist in rescue and medical services after a devastating earthquake killed more than 5,000 people in the country and neighbouring Syria.

The Fire Service and Civil Defence said in a statement on Tuesday that it prepared a 12-member rescue team along with a combined support team from the armed forces on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's instructions.

The team members received international-standard training in conducting search and rescue operations in collapsed buildings in line with the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group standards, the statement said.

This is the first foreign visit of the fire service members to conduct rescue operations abroad, said Brig Gen Md Main Uddin, director general of the fire service.

"This is a shining example of capacity building of the fire service under the current government," he said. "This is an incredible recognition for the Fire Service and Civil Defence."

The Turkish government has released a statement requesting international aid after the powerful earthquake killed thousands.

The magnitude 7.8 quake rippled through both countries early Monday, toppling entire apartment blocks, wrecking hospitals, and leaving thousands more injured or homeless.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the death toll from the quake exceeded 5,000 and was rising.

In separate condolence messages, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen assured his Turkish and Syrian counterparts of support.

The foreign ministry on Tuesday said it would take the initiative to send a team of rescuers and doctors.

Seheli Sabrin, a foreign ministry spokesperson, said they still needed to finalise the team. "The work is underway to decide who will be on the team and what equipment, materials, and medical supplies will be sent."

Turkish Ambassador Mustafa Osman Turan said in a tweet: "We are grateful to the government and people of Bangladesh for their grief, tribute and support."