UAE to send field hospital and rescue teams to earthquake-hit areas of Syria and Turkey

President Sheikh Mohamed offered his condolences as the death toll exceeded 1,800

Rescuers frantically look for earthquake survivors under rubble in Turkey and Syria

Rescuers frantically look for earthquake survivors under rubble in Turkey and Syria
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Follow the latest on the earthquake in Turkey

President Sheikh Mohamed has announced support for the worst-hit areas of Turkey and Syria following two earthquakes that killed at least 1,900 people.

A field hospital and a search and rescue team have been sent to Turkey to help with the international response to the disaster.

A second team will be sent to the hardest-hit areas of Syria.

A 7.8-magnitude quake hit southern Turkey in the early hours of Monday. Another tremor, measuring 7.5, hit the same region 10 hours later.

Hundreds, if not thousands, are believed to be trapped under rubble after offices and apartment buildings collapsed.

“The President has made two phone calls to the Syrian and Turkish presidents to express the UAE's solidarity with their countries following the earthquake that the two countries witnessed,” state news agency Wam said.

Sheikh Mohamed “expressed his sincere condolences and sympathy to the two presidents, their peoples, and the families of the victims, asking God Almighty for mercy for the victims and a speedy recovery for the injured”.

Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the UAE President, said the country “stands with the Syrian and Turkish peoples in their time of need”.

Tugay Tuncer, Turkey’s ambassador to the UAE, said rescue teams were searching for survivors in heavy rain and snow.

“As we are trying to assess the damage inflicted by the earthquake, at the same time we still have big aftershocks coming,” he told The National.

“The urgent need is for search and rescue teams because there are many people under the collapsed houses.

“We have requested field hospitals that can operate in harsh climate conditions because it is the peak of winter.

“Turkey has been hit by a cold wave and that is another challenge.”

The UAE is among 45 countries to offer assistance so far, of which the UAE was among the first, he said.

“It’s substantial and important assistance for which we are very appreciative,” he said.

The death toll is expected to rise. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said 912 people had been killed and another 5,383 wounded in his country.

Mr Erdogan, in an address to the nation, described it as Turkey's worst disaster since 1939, when a deadly earthquake struck in December.

Updated: February 07, 2023, 6:01 AM