Hungarian rescue units have saved 21 survivors, five children among them, in Türkiye in two days after an earthquake killed over 5,000 people in Türkiye and Syria, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday.
With two further units arriving in the Hatay region in southeast Türkiye on Wednesday, there are now seven units, 156 Hungarians working with 28 dogs to rescue people from the rubble, Szijjártó said. Rescue efforts are now in a critical stage, some 60 hours after the earthquake, he said, and thanked the rescue missions for their work.
Several Hungarian charities have offered aid and launched online donation drives to help survivors and families in earthquake-hit Turkiye and Syria, they said on Wednesday. The Hungarian Reformed Church Charity said it is providing emergency shelters and supplies to people in need. The Hungarian Red Cross said it is collecting donations in line with requests received from partner organisations the Turkish Red Crescent and Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
This is how Türkiye hails the efforts of the HUNOR team:
The Hungarian Maltese Charity said it is setting up its first mobile clinic in Syria in the city of Latakia, as well as a hotspot providing food, drink, and toiletries to residents of the earthquake-hit area. The charity said in a statement that many Syrians in the area had spent a chilly night in cars for fear of further tremors. It is working together with its local partner, the Greek Catholic Church, to rescue survivors beneath the rubble.
Here are som photos from Syria:
And a video:
According to its statement, Syria has not received as many international rescue teams as Turkiye, because the country is under sanctions and entry is difficult. Electricity and fuel supplies were erratic even before the disaster, while some areas are controlled by armed organisations, making travel difficult, it added. The Hungarian Ecumenical Charity said it is sending aid containing food, hygiene supplies and blankets to the Aleppo region while providing accommodation to families in need.
The Hungarian Islam Community is collecting winter clothing and cash donations and it will transfer these to its Turkish partner organisation Sadakatesi Dernegi. Tristan Azbej, the foreign ministry’s state secretary in charge of persecuted Christians, said the government is supporting Hungarian rescue teams working in Turkiye through its Hungary Helps humanitarian aid programme.
Hungary helps in Syria in photos:
Three members of the Kutyák Határok Nélkül (Dogs without borders) team, dr Zsuzsanna Löcher, doctor /dog handler, with her malinois Scotty, Ágnes Kiss with her beauceron named Dáma, and Erzsébet Kröpfl with her beauceron Solka, await their departure to earthquake-stricken Turkey as part of the HUBA Rescue24 Special Rescue Team at the Liszt Ferenc International Airport. They are also part of the rescue team HUNOR:
The three mobile clinics for which the Hungarian government earmarked 50 million forints (EUR 127,000) for the Hungarian Maltese Charity have arrived in the area of Syria hit hardest by the earthquake earlier this week, the foreign minister said on Wednesday.
The two smaller and one complex medical unit will be used to treat around 5,000 people in the city of Latakia over the coming weeks, Péter Szijjártó said on Facebook. Meanwhile, Szijjártó said the Syrian-Hungarian rescue team pulled four people from the rubble on Wednesday. The team will be working in Aleppo in the coming days, where some 60,000 people have been affected by the disaster, he added. The minister, who is on his way to Tashkent, thanked the rescue teams for their efforts.