First Chinese civilian assistance force rushes to Turkey to help rescue earthquake survivors
Published: Feb 07, 2023 12:50 PM Updated: Feb 07, 2023 12:42 PM
Rescue work is underway after a massive earthquake hit southern provinces of Turkey on February 6, 2023. More than 2,000 people were killed and thousands of others injured as of the press time after strong earthquakes jolted parts of Turkey and northwest of Syria Monday. Photo: VCG

Rescue work is underway after a massive earthquake hit southern provinces of Turkey on February 6, 2023.  Photo: VCG

A civilian rescue team of named Ramunion from Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province is expected to arrive in Turkey on Wednesday, with an advance team consisting of eight experts with rich international earthquake rescue experiences. This is the first Chinese civilian assistance force sent to Turkey, after a series of earthquakes devastated parts of the region.

The advance team is equipped with advanced radar life-searching instruments, and other rescue equipment and a search and rescue canine. 

Deng Boqing, vice chairman of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), said in an interview that Chinese government immediately launched its emergency humanitarian assistance mechanism to provide emergency aid to Turkey and Syria. 

China announced 40 million yuan ($5.8 million) of emergency assistance to Turkey and the dispatch of a rescue and medical team. It will also provide Syria with emergency aid, according to the CIDCA.

Chinese citizens in Turkey have volunteered for disaster relief, and the first shipment of relief materials including tents, sleeping bags and blankets are expected to be distributed on Tuesday.

Zhang Junyue, a vice president of general chamber of commerce of Chinese enterprises in Turkey, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the enterprises and employees known to the organization have evacuated from the epicenter. Due to the huge losses by the earthquake, "the power and the water supply in the earthquake-hit regions have been cut off, and the network doesn't work well," Zhang said. Chinese citizens in Turkey have been working together to provide assistance to people in need.

Several Chinese athletes reported they are safe on social media after the earthquake. 

More than 4,000 people have been killed and nearly 20,000 people injured after two powerful earthquakes rocked Turkey and Syria, according to media reports. Turkey has declared seven days of national mourning until February 12.

The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) has announced a commitment of $200,000 in emergency humanitarian assistance to the Turkish Red Crescent and the Syrian Red Crescent, respectively. Chen Zhu, president of the RCSC, sent his letters of sympathy to the Turkish Red Crescent and the Syrian Red Crescent. The RCSC will keep abreast of the relief work in the disaster-hit areas, and has pledged to offer more humanitarian aids if needed.