Pakistan sends relief goods, rescue team to Turkey: Relief fund set up for quake victims

News Desk
Wednesday, Feb 08, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has decided to establish a relief fund to help the victims of a deadly earthquake in Turkey that has claimed thousands of lives.

“To help the victims of the earthquake in Turkey at this difficult hour, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has decided to establish PM Relief Fund,” Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Tuesday after a plane load of relief goods and rescue team from Pakistan reached Turkey.

The minister said the federal cabinet would contribute one month’s salary, adding the Prime Minister had also appealed to philanthropists to extend help. Turkey and Syria witnessed a devastating earthquake of a magnitude of 7.8, killing over 5,000 people. Earlier, Pakistan sent two aircraft carrying a 51-member search and rescue team and relief goods to Turkey to provide assistance in rescue operations.

According to a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) statement, a C-130 Hercules aircraft carrying rescue team members and blankets from PAF’s Nur Khan Base landed in Istanbul.

“The PAF aircraft is carrying relief goods from the people of Pakistan for the earthquake-affected brethren of Turkiye. The transport fleet of the Pakistan Air Force has always been at the forefront to respond to natural disasters and calamities both inland and abroad,” said the spokesperson of the Foreign Office.

The spokesperson said Pakistan had dispatched the necessary items for the victims including search and rescue team, a 30-bed makeshift hospital and medicines, adding third plane will also leave for the quake-struck country.

The rescue team includes a search squad and two technical rescue squads while a seven-member medical team has also landed in Istanbul.

In a separate statement, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said: “As part of Pakistan’s support for Turkiye, Urban Search and Rescue and Rescue 1122 team boarded a PIA flight from Lahore to Istanbul today (Tuesday).” It added a second C-130 aircraft carrying winterised tents and blankets was to take off from Lahore on Tuesday.