New Delhi: With the death toll from the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria crossing over 5000 people, India has ramped up its aid to the two tremor-hit countries.
The Army Tuesday dispatched an army field hospital – which is a mobile medical unit – along with 99 soldiers and equipment, including oxygen generating plants to Turkey’s capital Ankara.
This is after a C-17 of the Indian Air Force picked up 100 members of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and excavation equipment, besides food and medical supplies, and flew off to Turkey early Tuesday morning.
Also included in the NDRF contingent are specialised search-and-rescue canines – a labrador and a cocker spaniel.
India is also sending a C-130J aircraft full of medical supplies to the Syrian capital, Damascus, sources said.
Sources in the defence establishment said that the Army’s Agra-based Army Field hospital mobilised a 99-member medical team to help the affected people in Turkey by setting up a 30-bed medical facility.
The medical team comprises critical care specialist teams including orthopaedic surgical team, general surgical specialist team, medical specialist teams.
The teams are equipped with X-ray machines, ventilators, oxygen generation plant, cardiac monitors and equipment, the sources said.
Notably, the C-17s took a more circuitous route over the Arabian Sea and did not fly over Pakistan directly since it is a military plane.
Sources said one more plane with NDRF personnel and equipment will be dispatched to Turkey.
Speaking to ThePrint, NDRF chief Atul Karwal had earlier said these are personnel who hold international certification to carry out relief work abroad. These teams, Karwal said, have taken proper training for such work.
NDRF’s search and rescue teams consist of specially trained dog squads, medical supplies, drilling machines and other necessary equipment.
Over 5,000 people have been killed and thousands injured after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Turkey and Syria early Monday.
Aid agencies are worried about the situation in north-western Syria, where more than 4 million people were already relying on humanitarian assistance.
The quake was one of the strongest to hit the region in more than 100 years and several intense aftershocks have been felt.
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