Follow the latest news on the earthquake in Turkey and Syria
A UAE field hospital will operate in Turkey’s Hatay province, where medics can tend to the wounded in Gaziantep, Turkey’s ambassador to the UAE said on Wednesday.
The coastal Hatay province borders north-west Syria and is among the areas worst-affected by the deadliest earthquake in more than a decade that has killed more than 11,200 people in Turkey and Syria.
“One field hospital that the UAE has sent will go to Hatay,” Tugay Tuncer, Turkey’s ambassador told The National.
“The medical team of the UAE is going into the field and will operate from the disaster zone.
“I was at the airport in Abu Dhabi (on Tuesday) to personally say farewell to one of the teams going to Gaziantep, one of the most devastated in Turkey.”
Cargo planes carrying search and rescue teams and medical equipment have left the UAE for Turkey and Syria as part of the country’s Gallant Knight 2 operation.
Supplies will continue to be flown in based on need in Turkey.
“This is a very comprehensive operation that the UAE leadership has launched,” Mr Tuncer said.
“The cargo planes will continue. As long as there is need, the UAE will continue to support Turkey.”
Relief supplies are being flown into airports in Gaziantep and Adana in the earthquake zones and aid is then distributed.
More than 6,000 buildings were destroyed in southern Turkey and rescue workers continue to pull out people trapped under the rubble.
In Hatay alone, more than 1,200 buildings have been destroyed, Turkey’s government has said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a state of emergency in 10 worst-hit provinces for the next three months.
Mr Tuncer said he was touched by the outpouring of support in the Emirates with people from across the country donating winter wear, canned and baby food to the embassy and consulate in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
“People are bringing in things to share and that makes us very emotional, it has really touched us,” he said.
“We now have to look after the people who have survived.
“Food will be very essential and that will be a major target very soon.”