By Ahmad Adil
NEW DELHI (AA) - India has dispatched the first batch of earthquake relief material on an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft to Türkiye after two strong earthquakes jolted the southern part of the country, an official said Tuesday.
"The 1st batch of earthquake relief material leaves for Türkiye along with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Search and Rescue Teams, specially trained dog squads, medical supplies, drilling machines and other necessary equipment," tweeted Arindam Bagchi, the spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs.
The Indian Air Force said an IAF C-17 aircraft left for Türkiye on Monday night.
"Bearing Search & Rescue teams of the @NDRFHQ, this aircraft is part of a larger relief effort that will be undertaken by the IAF along with other Indian organizations," it said Tuesday on Twitter.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Monday that he is anguished by the loss of lives and damage to property due to the earthquakes and that India is “ready to offer all possible assistance to cope with this tragedy,” the government announced that two teams of the NDRF comprising 100 personnel with specially trained dog squads and necessary equipment were ready to be flown to the earthquake-hit areas for search and rescue operations.
A senior Indian minister visited the Turkish Embassy in New Delhi on Monday to express condolences over the devastation caused by the earthquakes.
At least 2,921 people were killed and 15,834 others injured in 10 provinces of Türkiye due to the two strong earthquakes that jolted the southern part of the country, an official from the nation’s disaster agency said early Tuesday.
Early Monday morning, a powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck Pazarcik district of Kahramanmaras province and strongly shook several other provinces, including Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, Adana, Adiyaman, Malatya, Osmaniye, Hatay and Kilis.
Then at 13.24 p.m. (1024GMT), a 7.6 magnitude quake centered in Kahramanmaras’s Elbistan district struck the region.