Rescue phase coming to an end, medical support and shelters now focus, says Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut
Terming the Feb. 6 twin earthquakes in Türkiye a “huge human catastrophe,” the EU envoy to Ankara on Tuesday expressed condolences on behalf of European member states, citizens and institutions.
“… It is unimaginable what has happened, to the city (Hatay) but not only to this city,” Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, head of the EU delegation in Türkiye, told a press conference in Ankara.
He said European rescue teams had mobilized very early on the request by Turkish authorities.
“More than 1,650 people were involved in this rescue operations and since we have continued our support in the next phases in the catastrophe,” Meyer-Landrut added.
The official said the rescue phase “unfortunately” had come to an end, and now medical assistance and shelters were the focus.
He said 50,000 winter tents, 100,000 blankets, and 50,000 heaters were provided by 12 EU states, adding that members were also setting up field hospitals.
The EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Center has mobilized relief housing units, as well as 2,000 tents and 8,000 beds have been provided by different members, the envoy said.
According to the official, the EU commission’s president will organize an international donors conference in March in Brussels to contribute for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the earthquake affected people. He said that an EU civil protection team was on the ground to assess the situation.
Over 31,000 people have died in the magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes that struck 10 Turkish provinces last week, leaving behind a trail of destruction. Countries including Syria and Lebanon also felt the strong tremors.