Burnaby Urban Search and Rescue leaves for Turkey to help with earthquake relief IG News

Irshadgul News report,

The Burnaby Urban Search and Rescue team is on its way to Turkey to provide help after Monday’s devastating earthquake struck Turkey and northern Syria.

As of Tuesday, the death toll from the 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude earthquake and several aftershocks is now at least 7,000 and the number of injured is estimated to be in the thousands.

It is one of the most powerful earthquakes to hit the region in a century and cold weather is complicating the search for survivors.

Click to play video: 'Danger far from over for Turkey earthquake victims'

The threat is not over yet for Turkey earthquake victims

Equipped with medical and rescue equipment, 10 volunteers with BSAR are making the 15-hour flight, aiding in recovery efforts and searching for buried victims.

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“We all volunteer. The reason we do it is because we feel lucky to live where we are, and so when we see things like this, we want to help,” Ryan Berry with Buser Said.

“We’re a technical search team. We have equipment that can help locate victims buried under the collapsed rubble. We’re bringing a whole bunch of first aid equipment. We have some recovery equipment, some water , there are basic supplies and some technical rescue equipment.”

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The team was previously sent to Nepal in 2015 after a magnitude 7.6 earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 people and injured another 100,000.

He also traveled to the Bahamas in 2019 after Hurricane Dorian.

Berry says the team are not yet sure where in Turkey they will be assigned – but timing is of the essence.

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“I think there are six or seven major city centers that are really struggling to help, (we) will probably be appointed there and meet the local people and they will appoint us.”

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Most of them are firefighters from Burnaby and one is from White Rock.

It is estimated that more than 5,700 buildings have collapsed in Turkey, and it is now a race against time as the global community provides aid for a massive rescue effort.

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Meanwhile, other volunteers like Shawn Mohamed are putting their home lives on hold to help with the recovery.

“I’m leaving for my five-year-old’s birthday, but I promised to get him some cool Transformers when I get back,” he said.

“I have a really understanding wife and kids so they know it’s the right thing to do.”

After being given the green light by the Turkish consulate, the Burnaby USAR will take off tonight (Monday) and remain there for a week, returning on 14 February.

Mehmet Taylan Tokmak, with the Turkish Consulate General in Vancouver, said, “What we see is that the destruction, what happened in one day is like a war zone and it happened overnight.”

“Now even the remaining buildings are collapsing. But (the volunteers) make me very happy. (It’s) exhilarating and it makes me so emotional at the same time.

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Turkish Airlines is also carrying 11 pallets and two tons of donations collected from the local Turkish community in just one day.

, With files from Katherine Garrett, Global News

Click to play video: 'Consequences of the Turkey-Syria earthquake'

Turkey-Syria after the earthquake

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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