Tue, 21 Mar 2023

New Delhi [India], February 8 (ANI): Ten Indians are struck in remote parts of Turkey after the country was hit by two "biggest natural disaster" earthquakes, but they are safe while one citizen is missing, Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (West) Sanjay Verma said.

"There are 10 individuals who are stuck in some remote parts of the affected area but they are safe. We have one Indian national missing, who was on a business visit to Turkey's Malatya. And he has not been traced for the last two days. We are in touch with his family and the company in Bengaluru," Verma said during the special briefing on 'Operation Dost.'He also said that the mission, which was set up in Ankara, had received 75 per cent of calls asking for more information and assistance.

While addressing the presser, Verma gave more details about the Indian community residing in Turkey. There are 3,000 Indian nationals in Turkey, about 1,850 residing in and around Istanbul about 250 in Ankara, and the rest of the others are residing across the country.

"The Indian community in Turkey is in fatal danger... Three Indians approached us and have moved to a safer habitation and are doing all right," Secretary (West) said.

He further informed that as on February 6, an earthquake struck the southern part of Turkey and Syria and multiple reports kept escalating the magnitude of the tragedy and affecting 10 provinces but 7 of them are in severe condition and about 435 aftershocks occurred.

He said that in Turkey, 8,574 people were killed and 49,133 were injured and 6,444 buildings collapsed while in Syria, the death toll climbed to 1,262 and 2,285 sustained injuries.

While giving the details about the medical assistance that India is providing to Turkey and Syria, National Disaster Response Force DG Atul Karwal said that under 'Operation Dost,' the first team landed at Adana airport and the second was diverted to Urfa because Adana was crowded. Both of them are being converged at Nurdagi which is in Gaziantep Province, one of the worst affected areas.

"The third team's requirement was sent to us. It was under preparation in Varanasi and was airlifted and brought to Delhi today. I met them at Hindon Airport. In the next few hours, they would depart with 51 rescuers, a canine complement and 4 vehicles," Karwal said.

"We have more teams in reserve because we don't know how many more teams will be required. The damage is extensive across a very large area and we are prepared to render whatever help any additional teams that India can provide to Turkey in this time of crisis," he added. (ANI)

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