Chongqing Blue Sky Rescue Team finds two survivors in Malatya, Turkiye
iChongqing | Updated: 2023-02-09 23:07
Members of Chongqing Blue Sky Rescue Team carry out the search and rescue mission in quake-hit Malatya, Turkiye on February 9, 2023. [Photo/Chongqing Blue Sky Rescue Team]
Several rescue teams across China rushed to Turkiye to help with rescue efforts following devastating earthquakes, including the Blue Sky Rescue (BSR) team, a professional non-profit search-and-rescue organization.
Chongqing Blue Sky Rescue Team arrived in the southern Turkish city of Malatya. The team officially launched rescue work Thursday, finding one victim and two survivors with the rescue work underway by press time.
The first batch of the BSR team arrived in Turkiye on February 9, including nine earthquake rescue professionals selected by Southwest China's Chongqing BSR team, then quickly rushed to the earthquake-stricken areas for the rescue.
"This rescue work will demonstrate our professional rescue abilities and Chinese civilian rescue forces to promote international humanitarianism." Luo Mingwen, leader of the Chongqing Blue Sky Rescue Team, said and added, "I believe we can complete this mission."
Assembled in Wanzhou district, Northeast Chongqing, this nine-member team left for Wuhan Tianhe International Airport to join other members of the BSR team, carrying rescue equipment such as thermal imaging equipment, drones, earthquake-breaking systems, radar life detectors, satellite ground stations, and satellite phones.
These professionals have participated in many earthquake rescue efforts with rich rescue experience.
Nine members of China's Blue Sky Rescue Team departed from Chongqing to aid quake-hit areas in Turkiye. [Photo/ Blue Sky Rescue Team]
At the same time, all sectors of society lend a helping hand. Aykut Yazirli is a Turkish businessman who has lived in Chongqing for almost 11 years.
"This is the first time in my life that I heard of such a big earthquake in Turkiye," he said. "We have many friends here in China, and they all help to look for what victims need for now."
Yazirli pointed out that the problem lies in the freezing winter temperature, which complicates rescue efforts. "We're especially looking for living conditions for the victims, such as food, clothes, blankets, electronic products," he said.
Blue Sky Rescue team members departed from Wuhan on February 8. [Photo/Xinhua]
Xinhua reported that a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck Turkiye's southern province of Kahramanmaras at 4:17 am local time (0117 GMT), followed by a magnitude 6.4 quake a few minutes later in the country's southern province of Gaziantep and a magnitude 7.6 earthquake at 1:24 pm local time (1024 GMT) in Kahramanmaras Province. On Wednesday, an 82-member Chinese rescue team arrived at Adana Airport in Turkiye at 4:30 am local time (0130 GMT) after flying over 8,000 km on a chartered Air China plane.
According to the Foreign Ministry, in the early hours today local time, they rescued a pregnant woman trapped under the debris together with Turkish rescuers. Last night, the Hong Kong SAR government also sent a 59-member search and rescue team to Turkiye to assist in local rescue efforts. This morning, a plane took off from Beijing and headed to Syria, carrying the first batch of medical supplies enough to cover the needs of 5,000 people and a rescue team from the Red Cross Society of China. Apart from the cash assistance and material aid that have been announced, the Chinese side is also speeding up the delivery of ongoing food aid programs for Syria, including 220 tons of wheat already on its way and more than 3,000 tons of rice and wheat to be shipped in two batches shortly.