Hungary’s Hunor rescue team has left for Turkey to help those affected by a major earthquake that hit the country early on Monday.
State Secretary Bence Rétvári said that providing fast assistance at a time of such a disaster is critical. The faster help arrives, the more lives can be saved, Rétvári said, noting that more than 1,000 people have been confirmed dead after the earthquake and 5,000-6,000 have been injured. The 55-member team comprises firefighters, military doctors and members of the ambulance service. Its mission in Turkey will also be assisted by search dogs. The team and its 90 tons of equipment and supplies are being flown to Turkey with an Airbus A319 of the Hungarian Armed Forces. Their work will be directed by Turkey’s disaster management authority. The team’s supplies are enough for 10 days. Rétvári noted that the Hunor rescue team was established 11 years ago and that since then Hungarian disaster management has proven it to be one of the world’s best-prepared rescue teams. Hunor has provided help in Serbia, Macedonia and Japan, among other places, he said. Rétvári said Hunor would also strengthen Hungarian-Turkish friendship, and thanked the team for its work.