Brussels: As of Wednesday, 20 European Union (EU) member states and three countries participating in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism have offered to send a total of 36 rescue and medical teams to earthquake-stricken Turkey, Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for crisis management, said here on Wednesday.
The teams comprise around 1,500 rescue and medical personnel as well as 100 search and rescue dogs, he said, Xinhua news agency reported.
EU protection teams have also been deployed to assist with coordination, he added.
Turkey activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which is designed for any country in Europe and beyond to request assistance from the EU member states in case of need, after a powerful earthquake struck the southern part of the country on Monday.
A powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey’s southern province of Kahramanmaras at 4:17 a.m. local time on Monday, followed by a 6.4 magnitude quake a few minutes later in the country’s southern province of Gaziantep and a 7.6 magnitude earthquake at 1:24 p.m. local time in Kahramanmaras.
Turkey’s southern province of Hatay and Syria’s northern city of Aleppo suffered the heaviest loss of lives. Lebanon, Israel and Cyprus also felt the tremor.
The EU received a second request from Turkey on Wednesday morning. Ankara asked for tents, blankets and heaters, according to Lenarcic.
Syria also activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism on Wednesday morning, requesting assistance for its own search and rescue services, as well as medical and food items, Lenarcic said. The EU member states have been encouraged to respond favourably to Syria’s requests.