#Operation Dost: India comes to the rescue in aftermath of devastating earthquake in Turkey
India began relief efforts the day after the Feb. 6, 2023 devastation earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria. And as in the past, when India has provided low-cost and even free medications during times of crisis around the world, the country stepped up in Turkey where thousands have died after the Feb. 6, 2023 earthquake and its aftershocks, known to have left more than 16,000 plus people dead.
The Indian army’s field hospital set-up in Turkey’s Hatay to provide assistance to the earthquake-affected people, has started functioning with running medical, surgical, and emergency wards; X-ray lab and medical store.
Reuters reported Feb. 9, that some 6,500 buildings collapsed, countless others were damaged, and the biggest challenge now is housing hundreds of thousands of people left homeless in the middle of winter.
According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency, at least 12,873 people have died in Turkey, and in adjacent areas of Syria, the total number of fatalities has been pegged at 3,162, including 1,900 in rebel-held areas in the country’s northwest, according to the ‘White Helmets’ civil defense group.
“The army field hospital in Iskenderun, Hatay, Turkiye has started functioning with running Medical, Surgical & Emergency Wards; X-Ray Lab & Medical Store,” External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar tweeted on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. An Additional Directorate General of Public Information team will work 24 x 7 to provide relief to the affected people.
Keeping up a blow-by-blow account of rescue efforts by the Indian army through its field hospital, Jaishankar and the Ministry of External Affairs took to Twitter highlighting ‘Operation Dost’ jumpstarted to provide assistance to Turkey’s earthquake-hit people.
Sharing photos of the facility Feb. 8, the External Affairs Minister wrote, “This field hospital in Hatay, Turkiye will treat those affected by the earthquake. Our team of medical & critical care specialists and equipment are preparing to treat emergencies.”
By Feb. 9, the sixth plane from India landed in Turkey for the earthquake-relief efforts. It carried more rescue teams, dog squads, and essential medicines for the victims.
“The sixth #OperationDost flight reaches Turkiye. More search and rescue teams, dog squads, essential search & access equipment, medicines, and medical equipment ready for deployment in the relief efforts,” Jaishankar informed the public.
Turkey’s Ambassador to India Firat Sunel described India’s ‘Operation Dost’ as a “very important operation” that demonstrates the friendship between the two nations.
Sunel made the remarks at the Hindon Airbase in Ghaziabad from where Indian Air Force’s C17 Globemaster aircraft with the NDRF team, medical equipment, and relief equipment, took off for Turkey, as part of the ongoing ‘Operation Dost.’
Calling ‘Operation Dost’ a symbolic operation, Sunel said, “It already proves that we are friends. We have to deepen our relations.”