Thailand Volleyball Association says players in Turkey are safe from earthquake

Thai volleyball player Ajcharaporn Kongyot, photo via Facebook.

The Thailand Volleyball Association released a statement yesterday saying that two volleyball players competing in Turkey are safe from the earthquake there.

This was after a 7.8 magnitude quake and its powerful aftershocks toppled hospitals, apartment blocks, and buildings in Turkey.

Yesterday’s statement from the Thailand Volleyball Association said the association’s president had contacted both players who were in Turkey. The statement, posted on Facebook, read…

“Following the news about the 7.8 magnitude earthquake at Gaziantep in Turkey at 4.17 on February 6 according to the local Turkish time, many Thai volleyball fans were worried about the safety of two Thai volleyball players, Autcharaporn ‘Pure’ Kongyot and Chatchuon ‘Boombim’ Moksi, who joined the competition in Turkey.

The President of the Thailand Volleyball Association, Sonphon Bangyang, reported that he had contacted both of them and they were safe in Istanbul which was pretty far from the earthquake’s centre.

The two would like to thank every fan for their care. They were safe and will update if anything happens.”

More than 34,000 residents have been reported as injured in the quake, while scores are currently homeless in Turkey and northern Syria.

Turkish authorities say around 13.5 million people are affected in an area spanning roughly 450 kilometres from Adana in the west to Diyarbakir in the east. They have reported deaths as far south as Hama, which is some 250 kilometres from the quake’s epicentre.

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.

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.

Across the globe, there have been several instances of athletes being caught in natural disasters.

In 2005, the NFL team New Orleans Saints was forced to play several home games on the road due to the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

In 2011, the Australian football team was affected by the Queensland floods of 2011, causing their home games to be moved to alternative venues.

In 2016, Fiji’s national rugby sevens team was impacted by Cyclone Winston, causing their home grounds to be damaged and forcing them to play their games on the road.

In 2018, 12 members of Thailand’s ‘Wild Boars’ football team – aged 11 to 16 years old – got stuck in a flooded cave in the Mae Sai district of northern Thailand’s Chiang Rai province. No contact was made with the team for two weeks until two British divers miraculously found the group alive on a rock. In an international rescue mission that involved more than 10,000 people, all 12 boys, and their coach were brought out of the cave alive

Many baseball teams in Japan have been affected by natural disasters including earthquakes, typhoons, and tsunamis, leading to cancellations and relocations of games.

Thailand NewsWorld News

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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