A plane carrying 77 UK search and rescue specialists, equipment and four search dogs, has arrived in Gaziantep, Turkey to support the earthquake response.

A UK team of 77 search and rescue specialists, 4 search dogs and rescue equipment arrived in Gaziantep in south east Turkey yesterday (Tuesday 7 February) to join the emergency response.

An Emergency Medical Team were also on the flight. They will conduct a full assessment of the situation on the ground.

The UK International Search and Rescue team is made up of firefighters and staff from Cheshire, Essex, Greater Manchester, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, London, Merseyside, Scotland, Mid & West Wales and South Wales.

The UK government is immediately providing the support requested by the Turkish government. The UK will continue to assess the situation and stands ready to provide further long-term assistance as needed.

The UK International Search and Rescue team is made up of firefighters and staff from 14 fire and rescue services from across the country, including experts from England, Scotland and Wales. They will be using specialist search equipment including:

  • Seismic listening devices;
  • Concrete cutting and breaking equipment; and
  • Propping and shoring tools.

Their world-class specialist skills and state-of-the-art heavy duty equipment will allow the UK team to cut their way into buildings and locate survivors in the rubble during this vital time.

The team is self-sufficient upon arrival and provides its own food, water, shelter, sanitation, communications and all necessary equipment to undertake search and rescue operations.

In solidarity with the Turkish people, the British Embassy in Ankara and Consulates across Turkey have lowered their flags to half-mast for the 7-day national mourning period declared by the Turkish government.

In north-west Syria, the UK-funded White Helmets continue to carry out a significant search and rescue response and have mobilised all their resources to respond to emerging needs.

The UK has given the White Helmets £2.25 million in the last year and an additional funding uplift of £800,000 for front line search and rescue operations.

Source and photo credit: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

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