Thailand to deploy rescue team to Turkey following earthquakes

Photo by Nation Thailand.

Thailand is stepping up to help following the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation announced yesterday that it will deploy a 20-member Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team to Turkey.

The USAR Thailand team will consist of fully equipped experts trained in search and rescue operations at both national and international levels. The team is on standby and will depart as soon as it receives the go-ahead from Turkish authorities.

The earthquakes, which struck on Monday, collapsed buildings and killed over 7,800 people, according to the latest updates.

There have been 78 aftershocks reported so far and over 1,150 rescuers are combing through more than 2,800 collapsed buildings in search of survivors, Nation Thailand reported.

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There have so far been no reports of Thais injured or killed in the earthquakes. The Thai Foreign Ministry has stated that Thais affected by the disaster can contact the Royal Thai Embassy in Ankara for help.

A massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southeast Turkey early Monday morning, sending shockwaves throughout the region and causing several buildings to crumble.

The quake was felt in several countries around the Mediterranean rim, including Cyprus and Lebanon. Later in the day, another large earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 hit Gaziantep province in Turkey.

The US Geological Survey reported that the earthquake was centred about 33 kilometres from Gaziantep, a major city, and had a depth of 18 kilometres. The disaster was felt in neighbouring provinces, as well as in Lebanon and Syria.

Buildings in the northern city of Aleppo and the central city of Hama collapsed. Meanwhile, the opposition’s Syrian Civil Defense reported building collapses in the rebel-held northwest near the Turkish border.

Buildings in Damascus also experienced shaking, causing fear among many residents who fled their homes and gathered in the streets in case another aftershock levelled their house.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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