It was announced that the United Arab Emirates was able to send 117 tonnes of humanitarian aid within the previous 24 hours to earthquake-hit countries of Turkey and Syria, under the “Gallant Knight/2” mission.
According to the official report first seen on WAM News, there were foodstuffs weighing about 97 tonnes and medical supplies weighing 20 tonnes in the shipment that was sent. The aid also had 696 tents that can function as temporary shelters for people who lost their homes due to the catastrophic earthquake.
UAE “Gallant Knight/2” Offering Significant Help to Earthquake-hit Syria and Turkey
The “Gallant Knight/2” operation, aimed at providing the required assistance for the people of Turkey and Syria affected by the earthquake, was launched by the United Arab Emirates under the directives of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The operation was launched by the Ministry of Defense Joint Operations Command.
The operation will see the combined efforts of several UAE entities such as the Armed Forces, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Interior, Emirates Red Crescent, and the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation.
The first aid plane under the operation took off from the Abu Dhabi airport with the Adana airport in the southern part of Turkey as its first destination. Apart from carrying medical supplies to help the needy, the plane also carried search and rescue teams and other crews to help with the disaster recovery happening on the ground.
The search and rescue teams, on reaching the town of “İslâhiye” in the southeastern part of Turkey called the “Gaziantep” province, were tasked with initiating the first-phase implementation of a mobile field hospital. The hospital once set up will be able to provide medical assistance, attend to diagnostics needs, and treat the people who were affected by the disaster. The hospital will have all the necessary equipment to function in emergency departments, ICUs, operation theatres, and sterilization rooms, and also will be able to function tests such as CT scans.
After the second-phase expansions, the field hospital will able to provide services such as X-Ray, dental treatment, lab services, pharmacy services, ward facilities for inpatients with a maximum capacity of 50 beds, and outpatient clinic facilities. A group of 15 doctors across various specialties, 60 nurses, and technicians for operating the medical equipment will be in charge of the field hospital. The medical team will also include Emirati cadres qualified to provide assistance in times of crisis.
So far, over 27 aid plans have been sent by the United Arab Emirates to Syria and Turkey, as part of the “Gallant Knight/2” operation.
Along with sending supplies and medical professionals, the UAE has also sent several groups of search and rescue teams as part of the operations. In fact, over 134 rescuers are sent from the UAE to both Syria and Turkey so far. One of the Emirati rescue teams in Turkey was able to pull out two people, an around 60-year-old man and an 11-year-old kid, who was trapped for over 120 hours in the rubble following the earthquake.
In another operation, an entire Syrian family was rescued from being trapped within the ruins of their home in Turkey. The family consisted of four members, a mother, and her three children. They were located in the “Kahramanmaraş” province, a city closest to the earthquake’s epicenter location.
Also, three citizens of the United Arab Emirates, who were trapped during the aftermath of the earthquake were also rescued by the UAE search and rescue forces. The Emiratis were sent on a return flight to the UAE after being rescued.
The catastrophe began when two earthquakes, registered at 7.8 and 7.5 in magnitude on the Richter scale, hit the regions in and around the Turkish and Syrian border provinces on February 6, 2023. The earthquake is analyzed to be the strongest that the region has experienced in the past hundred years.
According to the latest reports, over 29,605 people have been killed in Turkey and over 3,574 people in Syria due to the Earthquake, taking the total death toll to over 34,000. The number of injured people is still being assessed and is considered to be in the tens of thousands.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had earlier announced a three-month-long state of emergency in the provinces that were severely affected by the earthquake.
It is reported that at least 6,000 buildings had collapsed during the quake, many with people still inside them. As a result, the Turkish authorities have so far issued over 100 arrest warrants against contractors, engineers, and architects associated with the construction of buildings that were either destroyed or damaged completely during the aftermath of the twin earthquake.
Donations and humanitarian efforts have also been pouring in from all other parts of the world as well. Donations in the name of the “Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal” to the British Disasters Emergency Committee exceeded £60 million in just three days, including the £5 million in matching aid support from the UK government.
Qatar also extended their support to the humanitarian aid to Syria and Turkey by announcing that they’ll be sending 10,000 caravans and cabins used during the Fifa World Cup 2022, which can be reused to provide shelter to people affected by the earthquake.