People check damaged buildings after the earthquakes in Malatya, Türkiye, on Feb 6, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
The Chinese government will provide Türkiye with its first batch of aid worth 40 million yuan ($5.9 million), Deng Boqing, vice-chairman of the China International Development Cooperation Agency said on Tuesday.
The aid includes a heavy urban rescue team which to head off to Türkiye in a couple of hours, Deng said, adding that the government will send a medical team to Türkiye as soon as possible, and provide disaster-relief supplies the country urgently needs.
Chinese communities in Türkiye and Syria are collecting tents, blankets and other disaster-relief supplies, and a Chinese non-government rescue team arrived in disaster-hit regions this morning
Türkiye and Syria were shaken by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake and at least 78 aftershocks on Monday, which have killed more than 4,000 people so far.
READ MORE: Why was the Türkiye-Syria earthquake so bad?
The Chinese government is coordinating efforts to provide supplies to Syria and accelerating the implementation of the ongoing food aid program, Deng said.
Chinese communities in Türkiye and Syria are collecting tents, blankets and other disaster-relief supplies, and a Chinese non-government rescue team arrived in disaster-hit regions this morning, Deng said.
The Chinese government will continue to provide assistance within its capacity to Türkiye and Syria according to the development of the situation and the two countries' need, he said.
Chinese rescue teams
In response to a request from the Türkiye government, China has sent a rescue team to the country to participate in relief efforts after two strong earthquakes jolted parts of the nation and neighboring Syria early on Monday, China Central Television reported on Tuesday.
The team, consisting of 82 people, departed Beijing Capital International Airport at around 4 pm on Tuesday. It was dispatched by the Ministry of Emergency Management and consists of specialists from the Beijing Fire and Rescue Administration, the National Earthquake Response Support Service and the Emergency General Hospital.
A Chinese non-governmental rescue team will also set off from an east China airport Tuesday morning to join earthquake relief efforts in Türkiye.
The team of eight earthquake relief experts from the Rescue Team of Ramunion, based in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, is expected to arrive in earthquake-stricken areas in Türkiye Wednesday afternoon.
READ MORE: More than 1,700 dead as major quake hits Türkiye, Syria
He Jun, captain of the team, said before departure that they would use advanced radar life detectors, demolition and rescue equipment, and a search and rescue dog for the mission.
"After arrival, we will cooperate with local teams and other international rescue forces, to rescue life from rubble as quickly as possible," He Jun said.
Founded in 2008, Ramunion is a professional rescue team specializing in emergency response to disasters and accidents. Its members have taken part in a total of 287 international and domestic rescue missions, including earthquake relief missions in Nepal, Pakistan and Indonesia.
With Xinhua inputs