Ten Indian citizens are trapped in remote regions of earthquake-devastated Turkey, and one of them is missing, according to information released on Wednesday by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) regarding “Operation Dost,” the programme through which India has provided aid to the devastated country.
Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West) at MEA, said that the 10 Indian nationals were safe and that the 11th was on a business trip to Turkey in Malatya.”It has been two days since I last heard from him. We have communicated with his family and the Bengaluru-based business where he works, according to Verma.
He said that the MEA has established a specific assistance desk in Ankara to take such inquiries and prepare answers. About 75 people have called and asked the embassy for additional information and assistance, he added. “The other three Indians that approached us have relocated to a more secure area and are doing OK. Teams for rescue operations have already been sent to the impacted regions.
In addition to the impacted area’s wide geographic distribution, extreme weather conditions exist, according to Verma. As a result of the low nighttime temperatures, disrupted transportation and communication lines, and damaged mobile towers, “communication might be spotty,” he warned.
Additionally, he added, “the emphasis is on rescue, (so) other routine services — water, power — might be in low supply.” At this moment, we are only aware of one Indian who is missing and ten Indians who are safe but living in difficult circumstances.
“We have responded quite quickly. When you consider the complexity of such a mission, India has developed an admirable capacity for HADR (humanitarian assistance in disaster relief),” Verma remarked.
Atul Karwal, the director-general of the NDRF, reported that India has dispatched four aircraft to Turkey, two of which are C-17s carrying medical teams and two of which are carrying NDRF teams. Additionally, a C-130 aircraft with medical supplies and equipment was despatched to Syria.
According to Karwal, the troops gathered supplies and tents for a self-sufficient 15-day mission. Seven cars, four dogs, and 107 rescuers including five women who were travelling abroad for the first time—were transported by these teams. The worst-affected area, Nurdagi, is where the teams are stationed, he added. The request for a third team was made, and on Wednesday, it was flown from Varanasi with 51 rescuers and four cars.