NEW DELHI: Terming India as "Dost" for its generosity for providing funds to the country after three devastating earthquakes struck Turkey in 24 hours, Ambassador of Turkey to India Firat Sunel thanked New Delhi and said, "a friend in need is a friend indeed." Taking to Twitter, Sunel said, "Dost" is a common word in Turkish and Hindi... We have a Turkish proverb: "Dost kara gunde belli olur" (a friend in need is a friend indeed). Thank you very much India."
Earlier, Union Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V Muraleedharan visited Turkey's embassy and expressed condolences. He also conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sympathy and humanitarian support.
Today, India said it would despatch rescue and medical teams to Turkey. The prime minister's office (PMO) said that a meeting was held and it was decided that the search and rescue teams of NDRF and medical teams along with relief materials would be dispatched immediately in coordination with the Government of the Republic of Turkey.
Two teams of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), comprising 100 personnel with specially trained dog squads and necessary equipment, are ready to be flown to the earthquake-hit area for search and rescue operations, the PMO said in a statement.
"Medical teams are also being readied with trained doctors and paramedics with essential medicines. Relief material will be dispatched in coordination with the Turkish government and the Indian Embassy in Ankara and Consulate General office in Istanbul," the PMO said.
P K Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister held a meeting in South Block to discuss immediate relief measures. Medical teams are also being readied with trained doctors and paramedics with essential medicines.
Relief material will be dispatched in coordination with the Government of Turkey and the Indian Embassy in Ankara and the Consulate General office in Istanbul. The meeting was attended by the Cabinet Secretary, representatives of the Ministries of Home Affairs, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), NDRF, Defence forces the external affairs ministry (MEA) and well as the ministries of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and the Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
The epicentre of the earthquake was near the city of Gaziantep in south-central Turkey. One of the largest earthquakes to hit Turkey in more than a century, caused vibrations throughout the area, caused buildings to collapse, and forced people to flee into the streets.
The United States Geological Survey has recorded 24 aftershocks in Turkey. Effects of the earthquake was felt in Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Greece, Jordan, Iraq and as far away as Romania, Georgia and Egypt, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre, as cited by the Times of Israel. Condolences poured in from worldwide after reports of the massive quake hit Turkey claiming numerous lives. Earlier in the day Prime Minister Modi took to Twitter and condoled the loss of life in Turkey and the nearby areas.
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