Vietnam sends 24 rescuers, medical workers to Turkey for earthquake relief

By Pham Chieu, Dinh Van   February 9, 2023 | 05:43 am PT
Vietnam sends 24 rescuers, medical workers to Turkey for earthquake relief
Vietnamese soldiers prepare their gears before departing for Turkey to help with rescue efforts following devastating earthquakes, February 9, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Chieu
24 Vietnamese rescuers and medical workers flew to Turkey on Thursday to help search for victims of devastating earthquakes that killed more than 17,000 in Turkey-Syria.

The soldiers and medical workers of the Ministry of Public Security were dispatched from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and all were veteran rescuers with over 10 years of experience.

To An Xo, spokesman for the ministry, said it was the first time that the ministry sent rescuers to do international missions in an area so far away from Vietnam.

Nguyen Chi Thanh, 42, from the HCMC firefighting police division, said rescue operations would be difficult, but he would try his best. In 2020, Thanh had entered caves that were 220-280 m deep in the northern provinces of Ha Giang and Cao Bang to retrieve dead bodies.

Earthquakes struck the Turkey-Syria region early Monday morning, killing over 17,000 people in both countries as of Thursday and rendering hundreds of thousands homeless. It was the biggest natural disaster to strike the region since 1999, when a similarly powerful quake killed more than 17,000 people in Turkey, Reuters reported.

Authorities say some 6,500 buildings in Turkey collapsed and countless more were damaged in the quake zone where some 13 million people live.

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