Hungarian rescue team saves 17 survivors from quake rubble in Türkiye

Hungarian rescue team saves 17 survivors from quake rubble in Türkiye

First 100 hours are very important for people in debris of collapsed buildings to survive, says team leader

By Mehmet Yilmaz

BUDAPEST (AA) – The Hungarian rescue team has saved 17 survivors from the rubble in quake-hit Türkiye.

The HUNOR rescue team has been among the first groups reaching out to Türkiye after two major earthquakes jolted the country’s southern region on Feb. 6.

HUNOR head Peter Jackovics told Anadolu that the 55-member team with two dogs arrived in Adana on Feb. 7 and traveled to Hatay from there.

The Turkish disaster agency AFAD assigned the debris of the Ronesans Residence to them, where they worked for six days.

"Time was of essence there," Jackovics said. "In Budapest and Hungary, we ordered the team to gather in six hours and moved right away. The team was comprised of 44 firefighters, six health professionals, and five military doctors from the army. Later, 16 people from the counterterrorism center joined us. We were 71 people and two dogs in total. This made it possible to work on different sites at the same time."

Jackovics said they saved 17 people including three children from the rubble in six days, and they recovered 29 bodies.

The team, he said, must have acted swiftly to rescue people from the debris of collapsed buildings since the first 100 hours were very important for them to survive.

Cold weather, dust, and loud noise were making the rescue efforts even more difficult, the team leader said.

"We saved a woman named Sina after 16 hours of work," he continued.

Jackovics said their camp was set up near their rescue zone and was protected by the Turkish police and soldiers.

On Feb. 6, two powerful quakes struck southern Türkiye.

The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 tremors were centered in Kahramanmaras and rocked 10 other provinces – Hatay, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Malatya, Adana, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye, Elazig, and Sanliurfa. More than 13 million people have been affected by the devastating quakes.

Several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon, also felt the trembles that struck in less than 10 hours.

More than 41,000 people were killed by the back-to-back quakes in Türkiye, according to the latest official figures. Thousands of others were injured.

Türkiye issued a level-4 alert, calling in international aid.

* Writing by Nur Asena Erturk in Ankara

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