news12 febbraio 2023

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria: new Italian team in the affected areas

Italian Fire Department coordinates the USAR teams in Antioch under a UN mandate

Today, another team from the National Civil Protection has arrived in Turkey. As part of the European Civil Protection Mechanism, it is working to support local authorities in search and rescue activities for the missing persons after the earthquake of last February 6.

The new contingent takes over from the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams of the Italian Fire Department, staff from the regional health services of Lazio and Tuscany, and Civil Protection Department officials who have been operating in the city of Antioch since the first hours after the strong earthquake, upon the instructions of local authorities. The health teams supporting the USAR, who arrived in Turkey, came from the regional health agencies of Lazio, Tuscany and Lombardy.

In the first six days on field, the Italian rescue team's activities rescued two 23-year-old and 26-year-old males from the rubble and found 16 dead bodies, including seven children between the ages of 4 and 9.

The USAR teams, with shifts that allow for rotation every eight hours, ensure the rescue action 24/7, despite the temperatures widely below the zero during these nights. The situation is difficult, also due to the huge demand for help from the Turkish population severely affected by the earthquake.

The Italian Fire Department, on behalf of the UN, is also coordinating search and rescue teams from China, Britain, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Oman, Hong Kong, South Africa, Slovakia, Greece, Argentina and Bahrain operating in the area of Antioch. The Italian coordination structure, supported by China, Great Britain and Oman in this task, is also sending teams to the sites of operations according to the priority resulting from the data and information gathered, to ensue a more effective aid.

The first contingent, which will leave Adana tonight aboard two Guardia di Finanza Atr42s, is scheduled to return to Italy tomorrow morning at Pisa and Pratica di Mare airports.