Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský (Pirates) at the conference after the government meeting in Prague, February 8, 2023.
Prague – According to Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský (Pirates), the Czech Republic is ready to possibly extend the ten-day stay of the rescue team in Turkey, which was affected by the earthquake, and to increase financial and material aid. It follows requests for the form of aid from Turkey. He will send generators and sleeping bags to the country next week, he is monitoring other requirements, Lipavský said after the cabinet meeting. In Turkey, one Czech woman, who has a permanent residence in this country, is still missing after the earthquake. According to him, the Czech diplomacy cannot provide further information.
Photo gallery: Earthquake in Turkey and Syria
According to Minister Lipavský, the government is not forgetting about Syria, which was also affected by the earthquake, but due to the complicated security situation, aid will be sent there through international organizations. In a press release, the government office subsequently added that the Czechia will send ten million crowns to help Syria. The Czech Republic has already allocated the same amount for Turkey.
Monday's 7.8-magnitude earthquake claimed more than 11,700 lives in Turkey and northern Syria, of which 2,600 were on the Syrian side of the border. There are also tens of thousands of injured people on the ground. Due to the freezing temperatures, the chances of rescuing people buried under the rubble are getting smaller and smaller. In terms of the number of victims, it is the most destructive earthquake in more than a decade since 2011, when almost 20,000 people died in Japan's Miyagi prefecture. According to the Turkish authorities, almost 100,000 people, including teams from other countries, were involved in the rescue operations.
The Czechia sent a team of 68 rescuers to Turkey, which landed on Tuesday and on the night of today, its members began searching for those buried in the rubble in the city of Adiyaman. In addition to firefighters, the team also includes doctors, construction engineers and dog handlers. According to Lipavský, the Association of Manufacturers and Distributors of Medical Devices is ready to help, as needed, in addition to the firefighters and the State Material Reserves Administration.