China's peace-loving, life-respecting spirit carried forward with both official and civilian rescue teams in Turkey and Syria
Published: Feb 12, 2023 10:14 PM
Members from the Blue Sky Rescue Team conduct rescue work in the Malatya province, Türkiye, Feb. 10, 2023.(Photo: Xinhua)

Members from the Blue Sky Rescue Team conduct rescue work in the Malatya province, Türkiye, Feb. 10, 2023.(Photo: Xinhua)

The peace-loving and life-respecting responsibility of China as a major power has been carried forward, as an array of both Chinese official and civilian rescue teams are actively participating in the rescue work in earthquake-stricken areas in Turkey and Syria, which has transferred into disaster relief and resettlement, the China Association for Disaster Prevention said, calling for canceling or suspending more domestic rescue groups' departures to the disaster areas. 

The association has called for Chinese rescue teams that have not yet departed to cancel or suspend their trips to Turkey and Syria, to not increase the burden of the disaster-stricken countries and avoid risks and hidden dangers, as hopes for more saved lives dwindle due to inclement weather such as low temperatures. Rescue efforts have also been fully transferred into disaster relief and resettlement. 

Since two powerful earthquakes jolted Turkey and Syria on February 6 and more than 1,900 aftershocks followed, some Chinese departments and multiple Chinese social rescue teams have traveled a long journey to carry out humanitarian rescue work, according to the Chinese association.

According to Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, more than 79,000 people around the world are participating in the rescue, and rescue teams from many countries, including China, have arrived to help search for survivors trapped under the rubble. 

Six days after two powerful earthquakes caused thousands of buildings to collapse, killing more than 29,000 people and leaving millions homeless, rescuers are still pulling unlikely survivors from the ruins. 

As of Saturday noon local time, the China Search and Rescue Team, which has been searching for and rescuing survivors trapped in the rubble in Antakya in the southern province of Hatay, Turkey, had rescued four trapped survivors and five victims, as well as conducted assessments of signs of life and risks related to 25 heavily collapsed buildings, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The Chinese rescue team rescued the fifth survivor in the rubble of collapsed buildings in Antakya on Sunday afternoon, more than 150 hours passed since the earthquake. 

The rescue team received information about possible survivors and checked the area with life detection instrument. The survived man responded to the rescuers and told them that his left leg was trapped. He was finally freed from the ruins after four hours’ joint effort by the Chinese and Turkish rescue team members.

The Chinese rescue team has obtained help information through multiple channels including the Chinese Embassy in Turkey, local governments and the UN relief organization, and verified the information through online queries and field searches. 

Meanwhile, the Blue Sky Rescue Team, a Chinese civil relief squad that has been assisting rescue operations in Malatya and Adiyaman provinces in Turkey since Thursday, have rescued seven survivors and found 78 victims after searching an area covering 302 buildings, the Global Times learned from the relief squad on Sunday. A total of 209 members of the team have participated in the operation.

Besides, Chinese rescue teams' efforts have been progressing in Syria with several arriving in the country. The rescue team of the Peaceland Foundation, also a Chinese civil relief team, arrived in Syria on Saturday, becoming the first Chinese rescue team to start rescue missions in the country. 

Another Chinese civil relief team, China Blue Leopard Rescue team, arrived in Syria on Sunday after a 30-hour journey. The rescue team made up of 12 team members and a rescue dog, plans to conduct a mission for 10 to 15 days. 

Apart from the Chinese rescue teams, a China-developed drone for lighting has also participated in the rescue work. The drone has a large lighting range of 8,000 square meters and a strong endurance, sustained by the small generator it carries. More than 10 drones have been provided free of charge by its producer to the Blue Sky Rescue Team for its rescue mission in Turkey. 

The Chinese government announced last Tuesday and Wednesday an intention to provide Turkey with 40 million yuan in emergency assistance and 30 million yuan in emergency humanitarian aid to Syria, with all sectors of Chinese society also extending a helping hand to Turkey and Syria.