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Turkey earthquake/IntMin Bode: Still on the front line in everything that means rescuing people in need

Inquam Photos / George Calin
Lucian Bode

Romania's Interior Ministry (MAI) is still on the front line in all that means saving the people affected by the catastrophe in Turkey, Interior Minister Lucian Bode said on Monday, told Agerpres.

"MAI is still on the front line in all that means saving people in need. (...) We stand in solidarity with Turkey, a friendly country, a very good neighbour of Romania. We have already sent the first team of rescuers to the area affected by this catastrophe; we can say apocalyptic dimensions when talking about what happened in Turkey," Bode said at the Parliament House.

He added that on Monday morning Romania responded to the requests received through the European protection mechanism, being practically among the first member states to offer its help.

"Romania has already sent to Turkey the first 60 rescuers, 52 colleagues from Emergency Management Inspectorate (ISU), four doctors and nurses from SMURD, two coordinators from the Emergency Management Department (DSU), as well as two volunteers from an NGO, a DSU partner, who loaded over seven tonnes of first aid materials in the three aircraft. There are also four dogs specialised in such activities. When the first aircraft returns to Romania, the 10 Romanians will be brought back. (... ) At the same time, we have expressed our readiness to other states to evacuate their nationals, foreign nationals located in the stricken area in Turkey. If necessary, Romania will provide more," said Bode.

He added that all three aircraft that moved equipment to Turkey can be used to fly to Romania people who need it.

"Less than an hour ago, there were 13 states that expressed their willingness to provide aid. Let's see what the aid is made of. (...) We are paying great attention and are very concerned about the scale of this catastrophe; we are talking about apocalyptic dimensions. (...) Everything is coordinated at the European level. (...) The two DSU officers will enter the command body of the European mechanism and they will be part of the decision to coordinate these situations."

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck central Turkey and northwestern Syria at 04:17hrs. local time (01:17hrs GMT), according to the United States Geological Survey. The centre of the earthquake was the Turkish city of Gaziantep, not far from the border with Syria.

A 6.7-magnitude aftershock struck the same region about ten minutes later.


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