Search and rescue operations continue after the devastating earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday, February 8, 2023.
Prague/Adiyaman (Turkey) – Czech rescue workers in the Turkish city of Adiyaman are searching buildings destroyed by the earthquake. They pulled two dead from the wreckage. The state of health of the other victims is unknown, but the way the building was damaged reduces the hope of survival, fire department spokesman Jakub Kozák told the media this evening. According to him, the rescue work will continue even at night.
Photo gallery: Earthquake in Turkey and Syria
On Tuesday evening, the nearly 70-member Czech team began searching two buildings with an area of approximately 40 by 40 meters. One building has floors collapsed on top of each other, the other has collapsed. “So far we have confirmed seven dead in the building. We are conducting a detailed search in the places where the dogs were 'barked',” the fire department said on Twitter this afternoon. In the evening, they announced that they had rescued two dead people from the wreckage.
Around 18:30, Kozak told journalists that the rescuers would work on the spot all night. The health status of the people in the rubble is still unknown. “However, the way the object was damaged reduces the hope of survival,” the spokesman added. According to him, the firefighters felt more tremors today.
The Czech team also helps rescuers from other countries. “We sent a small group to help one of the foreign teams who needed to use our slit camera,” Kozák described.
The fact that people can still be alive in the ruins of collapsed houses is also demonstrated by the case of Polish rescuers. They found eight survivors approximately 280 kilometers from the place where the Czech team intervenes, Kozák said.
A group of six Czechs who were in Turkey for work returned to Prague today from the area affected by the earthquake. The earthquake caught them in the hotel. “We managed to escape using the last staircase,” one of them told Czech Television after arriving today.
According to the latest data, the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday has claimed more than 11,700 lives. The Czechia sent a team of 68 rescuers to Turkey, whose members include, in addition to firefighters, doctors, construction engineers and cynologists.
The Czech USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) team specialized in searching for people in the rubble arrived in Turkey the city of Adana, from where he moved by Turkish military planes to Adiyaman, 400 kilometers away. The material was transported by a truck, which took over 12 hours to drive due to the damaged infrastructure. The Czech team was able to start searching for trapped persons on Tuesday shortly after 22:00.
The Czech USAR team abroad helped in the past, for example, in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2020 after an explosion in the port, which claimed two hundred lives people and injured another 6,000. In addition to firefighters, the Czech team at that time also included cynologists with dogs, a structural engineer and a doctor.