SZ rescue team heads for quake-hit Türkiye

Writer: Han Ximin  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-02-09

An advance six-member team left Shenzhen yesterday for the rescue work in quake-hit Türkiye.

They will join the non-governmental rescue team from China to participate in the rescue in Türkiye that was jolted by a devastating earthquake Monday, which resulted in over 11,000 deaths in Türkiye and Syria.

Shenzhen rescue team members gather outside their office building in Futian District before departing for Türkiye yesterday afternoon. Sun Yuchen

Prior to departure, Shi Xin, head of the Shenzhen Rescue Volunteers Federation, said the advance team, upon arrival, will first register at the reception set up by Türkiye and the United Nations, and get their rescue assignment.

“Time is really pressing and we will follow the directives and try to develop rescue at the core areas, which were hit hard by the earthquake,” Shi said.

The federation also issued a statement last night, saying it has organized another team of around 20 members, who will leave for Türkiye today, carry life detectors and other heavy equipment.

“We have set up a command headquarters inside the federation and more than 30 members are now working 24 hours a day in rotation to provide information and material guarantees,” Shi said.

Among the six members, Süleyman Sülooğlu, a soccer coach in a Shenzhen school who had lived in the city for over four years, applied for the rescue work in his home country.

He will work as a guide and interpreter for the team.

“I was really sad when I heard about the quake in my home country, and was deeply moved that the Chinese Government is sending rescue teams to my hometown,” Sülooğlu said.

Sülooğlu, after receiving full support from his Chinese wife, immediately applied when he learned the federation was seeking for an interpreter and guide for the rescue work.

“I am really grateful for the Chinese effort and much moved that Shenzhen set up the rescue team in such a short time,” Sülooğlu said.

Sülooğlu’s hometown is close to the hard-hit area but bridges to it have collapsed and people there are in great need of help, he said.

“The medical support and rescue work from the Chinese Government and NGOs will make a big difference, and we will remember the effort,” he said.

Yang Chao, a member of the advance team who once participated in rescue work during the Nepalese earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, said the advance team will carry life detectors, radios and medical kits for the rescue work.

It was the federation’s fifth time to take part in the international rescue work, following previous work in Nepal, Iran, Laos and Indonesia.

A 82-member Chinese rescue team arrived at Adana Airport at 4:30 a.m. local time yesterday after flying over 8,000 kilometers on a chartered Air China plane.