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1 Indian on Business Trip Missing, 10 Others Stuck in Remote Parts, Says MEA

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The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday said there are around 3,000 Indians currently in Turkey and one businessman from Bengaluru has been untraceable for the last two days.

It further said that 850 people are around Istanbul, 250 are in Ankara and the remaining people are spread across the country. The MEA added that 10 Indian nationals are stuck in remote parts of Turkey, but are safe.

“Around 3000 Indians in Turkey, 850 around Istanbul 250 in Ankara, rest across the country. 75 persons asked the Embassy for Information. 10 Indian individuals are stuck in remote parts but are safe. 1 Indian businessman has been missing for the last two days,” the ministry said in a statement.

The MEA said that the missing Indian was working with a Bengaluru Company and was on a business trip to Turkey. It added that the government is in touch with his family.

The announcement comes as Turkey and Syria were struck by a massive earthquake that killed 11,200 people in both countries.

Searchers were still pulling survivors Wednesday from the rubble of the earthquake as thousands of rescue workers were working in freezing temperatures to find those still alive under flattened buildings on either side of the border.

India announced rescue operations and relief materials immediately after the disaster unfolded. A fourth C17 plane of the Indian Air Force carrying relief assistance for Turkey’s earthquake victims landed in Adana on Wednesday.

“The fourth @IAF_MCC aircraft leaves for Turkiye with the remaining component of the field hospital. This includes 54 members of the Indian Army medical team as well as medical and other equipment to establish the facility,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.

India Extends Help to Turkey, Syria

Several other countries have come forward to aid and assist Turkey and Syria after a massive earthquake shattered lives there.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had directed that all possible assistance be extended to the affected people. Soon, ‘Operation Dost’ was launched to provide necessary support in terms of search and rescue (SAR) efforts as well as medical assistance.

“This has involved a whole-of-government approach with coordination among various agencies. This swift response led to the first C-17 IAF aircraft with a specialized SAR team leaving for Turkey within hours of a request of assistance being received. Since then, India has been able to send more than 250 personnel, specialized equipment and other relief material amounting to more than 129 tons to Turkey on 5 C-17 IAF aircrafts,” an official statement said.

These include three self sustained teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) numbering more than 150 specially trained personnel, along with dog squads, specialized equipment, vehicles and supplies. Their equipment allows for detection, location, access and extrication of people trapped under collapsed structures.

“In addition, personnel and equipment have been sent to set up a 30-bed self-sustained field hospital of the Indian Army. This includes a team of 99 specially trained personnel, with essential medicines, advanced equipment, vehicles and ambulances. The hospital will provide for a fully functional Operation Theatre, and facilities such as X-ray, ventilators, etc,” it added.

The MEA further said that the deployment of Indian teams in Turkey is being coordinated with the local authorities through the Indian Embassy, which has set up a camp office at Adana. “The NDRF teams are rendering assistance in rescue operations at Gaziantep while the medical team is setting up the Field Hospital in Iskenderun. A team of officials of the MEA, two of which are Turkish speaking officers, have been deployed to Turkey to assist the teams involved in rescue and relief operations,” it said.

As regards Syria, more than six tons of emergency relief assistance has been delivered through a C130J IAF aircraft to Damascus. “The consignment includes medicines for emergency use, fluids for hydration, protective gear, general use medicines and medical equipment like ECG machine, patient monitor etc. The consignment was received by the Deputy Minister of Local Administration and Environment of Syria, Moutaz Douaji at Damascus airport,” it said.

The MEA said that India stands committed to extend all possible support to those affected by the earthquake.

(With Inputs from Shailendra Wangu)

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