By Rajnish SinghNew Delhi [India], February 7 (ANI): Acclaimed globally after Japan's triple disaster in 2011 and Nepal earthquake in 2015, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been given the task for the fourth time since its inception to handle the tragedy of the massive earthquake in Turkey, which has claimed over 4,000 lives so far.
Always led from the front by displaying a high level of dedication and commitment, the NDRF, which was constituted in 2006, was first time sent for an international rescue operation in Japan in 2011 to help the country facing triple disaster, followed by Bhutan river rescue operation in 2014 and Nepal earthquake in 2015, NDRF DIG Mohsen Shahidi told ANI.
This is the fourth international disaster rescue operation when the NDRF team has been tasked to help earthquake-hit Turkey.
This time, a 101-member National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rescuers, including five female personnel and a four-member canine squad, will help earthquake-hit Turkey from Tuesday.
A 51-member team landed at Turkey's Adana airport this morning. The second team of another 50 members of the NDRF is on its way.
Led by Commanding officer Gurminder Singh of NDRF's 2nd Battalion in Kolkata, the whole contingent of 101 rescuers will start its operations in a coordinated way as per directions of the Indian Embassy in Turkey and local authorities.
A massive earthquake, 7.8 magnitude on Richter Scale, ripped through Turkey and Syria on February 6, followed by a series of earthquakes causing huge devastation, loss of lives and damage to infrastructure in both countries and media reports of over 4,000 people lost their lives.
"In a very short span of time, NDRF has rescued over 1.48 lakh precious human lives and also evacuated more than seven lakh stranded persons from disaster situations within the country and abroad. The swift and effective response of NDRF during the Japan Triple Disaster-2011 and Nepal Earthquake 2015 was acclaimed globally. The force is fulfilling these responsibilities with its rigorous training regime and diligent application of skills on the ground," another NDRF official told ANI.
Speaking to ANI, NDRF Director General Atul Karwal earlier said "one team with 51 rescuers, including five lady personnel, and a canine squad left for Turkey at 3 am today morning in an Indian Air Force aircraft. So, after a flight of seven and a half hours, they landed at about 10.30 am at Adana airport in Turkey close to the site of the disaster.""The second team will depart at 11 am again by an Indian Air Force aircraft."Karwal said "the NDRF is also sending some vehicles with both the teams because we are told that vehicle providing of transportation by the local authorities might be an issue. So we are sending them with vehicles."Asked if the 101-member crew has any paramedics or health expert, the NDRF chief said, "There is a doctor who is accompanying for the care of the team and the rescuers, and the victims we are going to assist.""Aside from that, all rescuers of NDRF have the medical first responder training to provide first aid to all the victims that we rescued before they are sent to the hospital."In anticipation of such deployment, Karwal further said, the NDRF had kept two teams ready in two Battalions, 8th battalion in Ghaziabad and 2nd Battalion in Kolkata".
"The Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion Kolkata Gurminder Singh is leading the whole contingent. So, these two Battalions were ready with two teams and the equipment so that we could mobilize them at very short notice. And yesterday, when this tragedy struck, then it was put in motion and by early morning the first team had left," the NDRF DG said.
Karwal said "we are in regular contact with the Indian Embassy in Turkey, and they have deployed a liaison officer with English-speaking abilities to us to live with the local authorities".
"So, now it will be up to the local authorities to decide where they will deploy us. Depending on the crisis and they will be most useful," the NDRF DG said, adding "as I am informed the first deployment site is close to the Adana airport and they will tell us where to start operating as soon as we reach there."Karwal also said, "we are taking some information regarding the kinds of buildings which are there in that area".
A 5.5 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey's Golbasi town located in the Central Anatolia region of Ankara Province, reported the United States Geological Survey.(ANI)