Swiss Pull Four People From The Rubble In Quake-Hit Southern Turkey

(MENAFN- Swissinfo) Português (pt) suíços salvam quatro pessoas dos escombros na turquia

Saving four lives is historic for Swiss Rescue, Sebastian Eugster said on Wednesday in an interview with the Keystone-SDA news agency. The four survivors were found in cavities of collapsed buildings.

Eugster called this an 'absolute catastrophe', the likes of which he has never seen before in his career as a rescuer. A total of more than 11,000 people have now died following massive earthquakes that hit parts of Turkey and Syria.

In Hatay, a large number of buildings have collapsed or have been damaged, Eugster said. Many people are on the streets, sleeping in their cars or in makeshift shelters. Almost no one wants or is able to return to their homes. This sometimes leads to“unpleasant situations”, he says, because everyone would like to benefit from the help of international experts.

Swiss Rescue was one of the first teams to arrive as part of an international rescue effort. They were assigned to Hatay as soon as they arrived, and are responsible for systematic search operations in a sector of the city.

The Swiss teams, consisting of 87 specialists in total, are prepared to work for ten days, with two teams working around the clock. It is hard to say how long hope can last, Eugster continued, and 'the clock is ticking'.

No Swiss team in Syria

Switzerland does not plan to send a rescue team to Syria, as the situation remains very difficult, the head of the Swiss intervention team Martin Jaggi told Swiss public broadcaster SRF on Wednesday.

He says that unless it improves, rescue teams might not even manage to get through to the war-torn country.

However, Switzerland will send humanitarian aid. It is already working in Syria, mostly through local partners, and the foreign ministry is expected to increase this aid to help with the earthquake aftermath.

Swiss Solidarity, the humanitarian arm of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation -'s parent company -, has also launched an appeal for donations to support victims of the earthquakes. It has so far raised more than CHF3 million ($3.25 million).


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