Sat. Jun 3rd, 2023

A team of Pakistan’s non-governmental organization Pakistan Relief is also active in the most affected areas of the recent earthquake in Turkey.

Pakistani rescue team involved in efforts to pull humans and pets alive from the rubble in Turkey
Pakistani rescue team involved in efforts to pull humans and pets alive from the rubble in Turkey


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After the recent devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria, various countries offered to participate in relief activities. A team of Pakistan Relief, a non-governmental organization from Pakistan, has also reached Turkey and is rendering its services in the most affected areas of the earthquake.

A team of Pakistan’s non-governmental organization “Pakistan Relief International Disaster and Emergency Academy” (PRIDEA) arrived in Turkey on Sunday after continuing a week-long rescue operation in Kahraman Marash, one of the worst affected areas. Another destroyed city has left for Adana.

Aid trip from Pakistan to Turkey

PRIDEA President Mujtaba Haider Imran told Deutsche Welle over the telephone about the details of the situation in the affected area, which gives an idea of ​​the ongoing rescue work in the earthquake-hit area and the latest situation of the victims.

Mujtabi Haider Imran told Deutsche Welle that on the same day that the earthquake destroyed some areas of Turkey and neighboring Maliksham, his team sent a message to the Turkish Embassy in Islamabad and to the search and rescue team. Offered to send to Turkey. His team has K9 ‘sniffer dogs’ who play an extraordinary role in the operation of extracting humans from the rubble. As per the travel requirements of these dogs, vaccinations were also done and they were prepared for the trip. However, due to the delay in obtaining permission, the Pakistan Relief team reached Istanbul on February 11 without the ‘Sniffer Dogs’ and on February 12, the team reached Ghazi Antap, which is a nearby area that was heavily affected by the recent earthquake. There he found out about the devastation and the destruction of a large number of buildings in Kahraman Marash. Pakistan Relief team members reached Kahraman Marash on February 12 midnight. From there they made their way to the main city on foot and immediately joined the relief work.

Several teams of volunteers were active there. When one team of workers got tired from the extreme cold and darkness, the other team would be engaged in the extremely difficult task of clearing the debris and evacuating more people alive. The president of Pakistan Relief said that he met members of Gendarmerie Search and Rescue (JAK), a Turkish search and rescue agency, who said that a total of 18,000 people have been rescued from the rubble from this city alone. (JAK) team alone has pulled 145 people alive from the wreckage. According to Mujtaba, the rescue work continues 24 hours. He said, “I think many people will still be alive under the debris, but the task of removing the debris is very difficult and time-consuming.” Very patient.”

The President of Pakistan Relief said that the government institutions and welfare organizations of Turkey work very harmoniously and cooperatively. Their relief work continues day and night, with aid organizations continuously providing food to search and rescue team workers as their members continue to search for people from the rubble without a break. Apart from this, the aid organizations here are also doing the work of providing food aid to the victims in a very dignified manner. Many people have arrived here from other cities.

What equipment is urgently needed?

The rescue team members of Pakistan Relief met with the representatives of AFAD, the National Disaster Management Agency of Turkey. When asked by Pakistan Relief what they needed most at the moment, they said, “digging tools” ie digging tools, shovels, shovels, safety helmets and strong hand gloves. Mujtaba Haider said that the debris is so much that there is a dire need for these items to clean it. The next phase will be reconstruction, for which these equipments will also be badly needed. The President of Pakistan Relief said that he has informed all his friends and benefactors in Pakistan about the need for these things. Mujtaba said that many Pakistanis are generously collecting donations and donating.

The president of Pakistan Relief said that Turkish Airlines has offered cooperation in delivering these and other aid items from Pakistan to Turkey. Pakistan Relief will collect donations in Pakistan and purchase the above mentioned equipments and deliver them to different affected areas of Turkey through Turkish Airways.

A few noteworthy activities

Mujtaba Haider Imran said that the severe cold and the dust rising from the debris is so much that all the relief workers are facing breathing problems and coughing. Wood is dug out of the wreckage and a fire is lit to combat the cold to some extent. Mujtaba said that along with the volunteers of his team, many Turkish youths are also carrying out the rescue work. Mentioning the two Turkish youths, he said that they both arrived in Kahrman Merash after traveling 60 hours by car from the German city of Frankfurt. They loaded as much relief material as they could in their vehicle and joined the relief work as soon as they reached here.

Mujtaba Haider said that the work of extracting the people buried under the debris alive is going on, but the hope of more people getting out alive is gradually disappearing.

Trying to save pets too

The president of Pakistan Relief said that bulldozers and various machinery are being used in the ongoing operation to clear the debris at different places. Some domesticated animals are also found here while removing debris. Dogs, cats, some of which are seriously injured and some with broken bones are also being rescued. These animals appear to be suffering from severe fear and shock due to being buried under the debris for several days. Mujtaba said that she liked the fact that the rescue workers in the earthquake-affected areas of Turkey showed so much respect and love for animals. Hold them, love them, feed them and water them. Our workers are also doing this.

How does IDEA work?

Pakistan Relief is actually a field of humanitarian assistance and IDEA i.e. International Disaster and Emergency Academy provides various subjects and training in First Aid Disaster Risk Reduction and Community Based Disaster Risk Management “CBDRM” at school college and university level. ‘Capacity building’ is done through programmes. The President of Pakistan Relief said, “Whenever there is an emergency or a disaster anywhere in the world, the youth trained by our academy volunteer themselves for free of charge. These volunteers participate in this good cause by spending from their own pockets.

Mujtaba Imran Haider said that his team active in Turkey currently consists of three members while four more volunteers are going to arrive from Pakistan soon.

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