The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will deploy a 12-man team to Turkey following a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that left more than a thousand people dead, forming part of the Philippine contingent, with the Office of the Civil Defense, Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Army, and the Philippine Air Force (PAF), among others.
The MMDA team, according to MMDA Acting Chairman Atty. Don Artes, is composed of well-trained disaster rescuers who were previously deployed to help in the rescue and retrieval operations in Bohol, Nepal, and Pampanga which were also hit by earthquakes in 2013, 2015, and 2019 respectively.
“The contingent will be transported by Turkish Airlines at no cost.”
“The ambassador of Turkey requested the team’s deployment along with rescuers from other concerned government agencies. The contingent will be transported by Turkish Airlines at no cost,” said Artes as he extended sympathy to the people of Turkey affected by the devastating quake.
The MMDA is in close coordination with the OCD for the transport, logistics requirements, and other preparations necessary for assistance to the earthquake-hit country, the traffic chief added.
“They will bring their experiences to Turkey to contribute support to its disaster response efforts and to express solidarity with the international community.”
“They will bring their experiences to Turkey to contribute support to its disaster response efforts and to express solidarity with the international community. We, the MMDA family, wish our team a safe journey. The country is proud of all of you for this heroic deed,” he stressed.
The agency will also provide the team’s winter clothes to keep them warm as the temperature in Turkey is at four degrees Celsius.
The team will stay for an undetermined number of days in Southern Turkey near the Syrian border to assist in the ongoing rescue operations in earthquake affected areas and will bring with them portable search and rescue tools such as life locator and v-strut which can locate victims under rubble of collapsed structures.
Artes said this mission will be a valuable experience for the team as they will be working alongside rescuers from other countries. The agency, according to him, is continuously increasing its capabilities in preparation for the Big One.
Thousands of people died and thousands more were injured across Turkey and Syria from the powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake, one of the strongest to hit the region in more than 100 years.