Update: Survivers Pulled from Quake Rubble by Hungarians in Turkey

  • 9 Feb 2023 8:39 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Update: Survivers Pulled from Quake Rubble by Hungarians in Turkey
Hungarian rescue units have saved 21 survivors, five children among them, in Türkiye in two days after an earthquake killed over 5,000 people in Türkiye and Syria, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said.

With two further units arriving in the Hatay region in southeast Türkiye on Wednesday, there are now seven units, 156 Hungarians working with 28 dogs to rescue people from the rubble, Szijjártó said.

Szijjártó thanked the rescue missions for their work. Earlier on Wednesday, the spokesman of the national disaster management said members of the Hunor team, the first to arrive in Turkey, were working around the clock, in 8-hour shifts, at three sites of the area affected by the disaster.

Dániel Mukics said sub-zero temperatures at night were reducing the chances of survival of people buried under the rubble, while the cold was also hindering the team’s work.

Speaking to public radio, Tamás Menczer, state secretary at the foreign ministry, said Syria had also requested Hungary’s assistance, adding that two Hungarian hospital units deployed in Syria earlier had been transferred to the earthquake-hit zone.

He said the Hungarian government was in contact with Christian communities in that country through the Hungary Helps programme.

Meanwhile, the Hungarian Ecumenical Charity said it is launching a donation drive for families in Syria in partnership with the local Middle East Council of Churches (MECC).

The charity is also transferring 5 million forints (EUR 12,700) to facilitate the first phase of the MECC’s work, it said in a statement. The charity will send aid containing food, hygiene supplies and blankets to the Aleppo region and provide accommodation to families in need, coordinated by staff members of its mission based in Iraq, it said.

Hungarian Baptist Charity Rescue Team Saves Boy Near Turkey-Syria Border

Rescuers of Hungary’s Baptist Charity have saved a boy in Antakya, Türkiye, near the Syrian border, the charity said in a statement on Tuesday. At around 7pm CET, a boy was pulled from the rubble and was administered medical care by the HUBA Rescue24 International Fire and Rescue Team and its 19-member medical team which is working alongside 7 Hungarian rescue dogs. The team is continuing to search through the rubble of around 2,000 houses in the area, where many people are thought to be trapped.

Three Pulled from Quake Rubble by Hungarians in Turkey

A Hungarian search and rescue team in Türkiye has already rescued three people from beneath the rubble of a devastating earthquake that hit the country on Monday, Péter Szijjártó has said.

The foreign minister said all 116 personnel and 19 dogs sent by Hungary will soon be in the country.

The Hunor rescue team was the first to arrive on Monday, he said, adding that its members are already assisting the search for survivors.

The five trauma surgeons sent by the National Directorate of Disaster Management are also helping out at the region’s university hospital, the minister said. Staff members of the Pest County Search and Rescue Service are also on the ground in Turkey, and the ÉLETJEL Fire and Rescue Team will be arriving in the earthquake-hit region in the evening, Szijjártó said.

Also, counter-terrorism force TEK will soon be sending 16 people, including five doctors and a nurse, to the area, he added.

Meanwhile, Szijjártó said the foreign ministry was aware of 18 Hungarian citizens who were in the area affected by the earthquake. The ministry is in constant contact with them, he said, adding that they were all fine and had not asked for any major assistance.

“Hungary is providing considerable help to Türkiye and the Turkish nation in this difficult time,” he said.

Szijjártó: Hungary to Send Further Aid Groups to Earthquake Site on Turkey

A group of 55 rescue troops and two dogs of Hungary’s National Directorate of Disaster Management arrived in Turkey on Monday night and further aid is being sent to aid earthquake-hit Turkish regions, Péter Szijjártó, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said.

Three organisations were sending 46 rescue personnel and 15 dogs on Tuesday, with a 40 million forint (EUR 102,000) government support. Hungary is helping in all possible ways, he said. “Turkee can count on Hungary.”

The foreign ministry is in contact with all Hungarians in Turkey, seven of whom are currently in the earthquake-hit Hatay region, he said.

“Everyone is well, we are in contact with everyone,” he said, calling on people who know of further Hungarian citizens who might be impacted to contact the consulate or the Ankara embassy.

Meanwhile, Hungary’s government is earmarking 50 million forints for the Maltese Charity to send two mobile clinics to Syria, which was also impacted by the earthquake, he said.

The Hungarian Catholic Charity has sent a rescue team to earthquake-hit Türkiye in cooperation with Budapest’s voluntary ambulance organisation and the capital’s association of fire fighters. According to a Tuesday statement, the team consists of 19 people travelling in 5 vehicles.

The team, which has a week’s supply, will join partner organisations in Turkey and participate in search and rescue operations.

The organisation welcomes donations at karitasz.hu, while people calling their hotline at 1356 can contribute 500 forints per call.

Photo: Bence Rétvári's Facebook page

Related links

Hungarian Embassy In Ankara Evacuated Following Devastating Earthquake in Turkey

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