Dutch team rescues 11 people, dog from earthquake rubble in Turkey
The Dutch search and rescue team USAR has so far rescued 11 people and a dog from the earthquake rubble in Turkey. The death toll from the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria has now climbed to over 15,000 people. Rescue workers are still pulling people alive from the rubble three days after the first quake.
Four Dutch people are presumed dead in Turkey, all of whom had been visiting family. On Wednesday, it was reported that 26-year-old Esat Furkan Kazci died in Kahramanmaraş, and 87-year-old Hamis Köse and his 53-year-old son Yilmaz Köse died in Antakya. Hamis's wife Leyla, 69, also died. One of his other sons, 49-year-old Sal, is still under the rubble. "Dad, grandfather, and his wife died. They're doing everything to find my uncle," Yilmaz's daughter, Esraa Köse, said to RTL Nieuws. The Köse family lives in Zutphen.
The USAR is one of many rescue teams from all over the world helping Turkish authorities search for survivors. The team consists of 65 first responders and eight rescue dogs.
“The rescues motivate the team members, but there is also a lot of suffering for the team,” the USAR said in a press statement. “Not every rescue is successful, and sometimes it is not possible to act due to personal safety. That has an impact, so there’s extensive attention to aftercare now and upon return.”
Turkey and Syria were struck by two strong earthquakes and multiple aftershocks on Monday. According to the latest figures from the rescue organization AFAD, 12,391 people have died in Turkey, and 62,914 people got hurt.
No new figures are available for Syria, NOS reported. The latest estimate by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 3,480 people have died. But due to the long-ongoing civil war in the country and the fact that parts of it are under rebel control, the actual situation is unclear.
Aid organizations in the Netherlands are raising funds to help the people in Syria and Turkey. The latest amount raised is not yet known, but before the Red Cross joined its Giro 7244 fundraiser to the other organizations’ Giro 555 fundraiser on Tuesday, more than 1.2 million euros had already been donated. A national fundraising day for Giro 555 will be held on Wednesday, February 15.
Dutch-Turkish rapper Murda also launched a GoFundMe that raised over 50,000 euros, according to ANP.