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Ten Indians stuck in quake-hit areas of Turkey; one missing

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Even as India launched ”Operation Dost” to send relief supplies to earthquake-hit people of Turkey and Syria, the government on Wednesday confirmed that at least ten Indians were stuck in affected areas of Turkey while one was missing.

“We set up a control room in Turkey’s Adana. Ten Indians are stuck in remote parts of affected areas but they are safe. One Indian national who was on a business visit is missing. We’re in touch with his family and the company in Bengaluru which employs him,” Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) told the media.

”Under Operation Dost, India is sending search and rescue teams, a field hospital, materials, medicines and equipment to Türkiye and Syria,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted earlier.

The MEA said in the wake of the quake that struck North-Western Syria on Monday causing massive destruction and loss of precious lives, the Government of India has dispatched 6 tonnes of emergency relief assistance through a special aircraft of the Indian Air Force to Syria.

The consignment was handed over by Charge d’Affaires of India to Syria S K Yadav to Deputy Minister of Local Administration and Environment of Syria Moutaz Douaji at Damascus Airport this morning.

The consignment consists of emergency medicines and equipment, including portable ECG machines, patient monitors and other essential medical items, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

India over the years has been extending humanitarian, technical and developmental assistance to Syria through bilateral and multilateral channels.

Jaishankar spoke to his Syrian counterpart yesterday and conveyed India’s support for the quake-hit people. ”Contacted my Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad. Expressed solidarity and conveyed our support including through supply of medicines,” he tweeted.

Consignments of food and medicines have been supplied to Syria from time to time, including during the pandemic. Two Artificial Limb Fitment Camps (Jaipur Foot) have been organized in Syria in December 2020 and recently in October-November 2022. A Next-Gen Centre for Information Technology was set up in Damascus in October 2021. About 1500 scholarships have been provided to Syrian students to study in India in diverse streams.

On Tuesday, search and rescue teams, medical teams along with relief materials were dispatched to Turkey in coordination with the Government of the Republic of Türkiye to help those who have been affected by the 6 February quake


The Statesman

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