One of largest earthquakes in recent history: EU emergency head

One of largest earthquakes in recent history: EU emergency head

One of largest earthquakes in recent history: EU emergency head

The deadly earthquakes Türkiye has suffered from are one of the largest tremors in recent history, the emergency director of the EU has said, informing that Brussels will deploy medical teams in addition to already dispatched search and rescue teams to save lives.

Hans Das, the Director of the Emergency Management and Rescue and the directorate-general for European Civil Protection, informed a group of Turkish journalists about the continued assistance of the EU to Türkiye following the two deadly earthquakes that killed more than 3,000 people so far.

“Very clearly, we are in a very tragic situation. This is one of the largest earthquakes we have seen in recent history. It is a widespread earthquake and very tragic,” Das told the journalists, responding to a question about how he evaluates the scale of the disaster on his experiences.

The first earthquake was with a magnitude of 7.8 and the second of 7.5 and affected 10 provinces in the southeastern Anatolian region.

Türkiye made a request from the EU only one-and-half-hours after the first earthquake and the first team from the EU arrived in Türkiye 12 hours after the request was made, the director informed, stressing that 1,155 people and 72 rescue-search dogs are already in the field to help the local authorities’ efforts to save lives.

The search and rescue teams are from 18 EU nations and two participant countries to the EU’s civil protection unit, Das said, adding Ankara requested medical teams as well. “We have already sent two medical teams, but we will send more medical teams in the coming hours and days.”

He also said in case the local authorities request, the EU is ready to deploy teams for providing shelter and sanitation to the provinces hit by the earthquakes. “All opportunities for assistance are being analyzed,” he stated.

The EU’s Copernicus satellite system has also been activated for Türkiye and satellite images have been pledged to Türkiye’s AFAD, or Emergency Directorate, to help in search and rescue efforts and seeing the level of devastation.

“We are in a huge logistical operation, and it is a race against time to save lives due to difficult weather conditions. These are crucial hours,” he said, stressing the meteorology forecasts show that harsh winter conditions and snow will continue in the region affected by the earthquakes.

On the level of coordination with the AFAD, Das said “We are eye to eye with our Turkish colleagues. Our cooperation with them is perfect.”

There are already experts in the field for coordinating with the Turkish authorities, the director said.

Diplomacy, Turkey,