By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - Several Balkan countries announced that they would be sending search and rescue parties to Türkiye in the wake of powerful earthquakes that left 2,315 people death and 13,293 others injured.
Croatian Minister of Internal and European Affairs, Gordan Grlic Radman, said a 40-person search and rescue team and 10 dogs would sent to Türkiye.
"Croatia is in solidarity with Türkiye. We understand the situation well since Croatia also lives with earthquakes," said Radman.
Türkiye's Ambassador to Belgrade Hami Aksoy said Serbia was sending a search and rescue team of 27 people upon the instruction of President Aleksandar Vucic.
Montenegro is also sending a 15-person team, while Bosnia and Herzegovina will be deploying 17 people and two dogs to help disaster authorities in Türkiye.
The Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina said separately that a 12-person team was ready to set off for Türkiye.
- Albania returns Türkiye's favor
The Albanian Ministry of Defense reported that an aid and solidarity delegation of 53 medical personnel, search and rescue specialists, and seven vehicles had departed for Türkiye.
Defense Minister Niko Peleshi emphasized that this assistance was being given in return for the continuous aid Ankara sent when Albania was hit by a strong earthquake in November 2019.
Early Monday morning, a strong 7.7 earthquake, centered in the Pazarcik district, jolted Kahramanmaras and strongly shook several provinces, including Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay, and Kilis.
Later, at 13.24 p.m. (1024GMT), a 7.6 magnitude quake centered in Kahramanmaras's Elbistan district struck the region.