Turkey rushes to help Iraq earthquake victims

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Turkey rushed to help victims of Iraq’s earthquake, 7.3 on the Richter scale, late Sunday with thousands of supplies and humanitarian aid, Anadolu reported.

At least 129 people died and 1000 more injured in Iran’s Kermanshah province after the earthquake hit across Iraq and Iran border.

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said a total of 3,000 tents, 3,000 blankets and a food rig were sent by the Turkish Red Crescent to Iraq’s north “immediately”.

He also added that 4,000 more blankets from Turkey’s southeastern provinces Mus and Diyarbakir were directed to the Habur border gate.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement at offered condolences to Iraq and said Turkey is ‘ready to help’ with aid agencies AFAD (Turkey’s Disaster Management Agency) and Kizilay (Turkish Red Crescent).

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also wrote on Twitter: “Turkey stands ready to provide search and rescue teams & send humanitarian aid for earthquake victims in Iraq. Our thoughts and prayers are with our Iraqi brothers and sisters.”

Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag told local broadcaster 24 TV that a paramedic team and rescue teams would be dispatched to the disaster area “by a military cargo plane in a few hours”.

Another team has been en route from Silopi district of Turkey’s Sirnak province to take tents to the area, Akdag added.

AFAD’s 30-men rescue team has reached Habur border gate to help quake-victims, the disaster management agency said to Anadolu Agency.

Turkish Health Minister Ahmet Demircan has offered assistance to northern Iraq.

A total of 316 members of the National Medical Rescue Team (UMKE) and emergency response teams are ready to aid northern Iraq, Turkish Health Minister Ahmet Demircan told Anadolu Agency.

“We have made arrangements and we are ready to offer assistance to northern Iraq, in case of a demand for aid,” he said, adding Turkey was attempting contact northern Iraq.

The health minister also said that a total of 40 ambulances were also ready to help, with 4,200 sickbeds and 217 intense care units are organized in various Turkish hospitals in case.

Turkish Red Crescent head Kerem Kinik also told Anadolu Agency that a team in Erbil are at the earthquake-hit region.

Turkey was the first country to help Iraqi victims right after the earthquake happened.

– No casualties in Turkey caused by quake

Although the earthquake was also felt by several provinces in Turkey’s east and southeast, no casualties were reported, head of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) told Anadolu Agency.

“We haven’t received any reports about damaged buildings or casualties in Turkey. That’s good news for our country,” Gulluoglu said, adding that AFAD was in constant communication with Iraqi authorities.

Turkey’s southeastern and eastern regions, including the Diyarbakir, Batman, Mardin, Hakkari, Van, Mus, and Sirnak provinces were affected.



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