News “Two or three days are very important to help the victims.” Last Minute EUROPE, CURRENT headlines and events
European Union (EU) Emergency Coordination and Rescue Director Hans Das said that at Ankara’s request, they immediately began sharing images from the Copernicus satellite system of the earthquakes, which occurred at 04:17 am on February 6, with AFAD. Das said teams from 20 countries were sent in response to the search and rescue request.
The EU Commission opened the doors of the Emergency Coordination Center in Brussels to a group of Turkish press representatives, including Voice of America.
Director Hans Das said: “This is the operational heart of our emergency center where we respond to crises and natural disasters, wherever they are in the world. The issue we are currently focusing on is the earthquake that has affected Turkey as well as Syria. The Turkish authorities demanded immediate assistance to the Copernicus satellite system after the earthquake and the dispatch of additional search and rescue teams. The EU responded quickly to this request, more than a thousand search and rescue workers have arrived in Turkey, the first teams are now on the ground and are conducting search and rescue work. Other teams will arrive shortly. 18 EU member states and 2 European countries participating in the EU emergency mechanism are currently participating in earthquake research in Turkey. From these countries, mainly search and rescue teams and a small number of medical response teams leave for the field. More medical response teams will arrive in Turkey these days,” he said.
When asked how he assessed the earthquake in Turkey from the point of view of an expert, Das replied: “Obviously, this is a very tragic situation. One of the strongest earthquakes we have seen in recent times. The impact is very high, very widespread. It’s really tragic. We are doing everything possible in the current conditions to help the victims, Turkey and Syria. It’s a race against time and weather. “The next two to three days are vital, we must act as quickly as possible to help as many victims as possible.”
Das said that the EU Commission has activated the humanitarian assistance mechanism in addition to sharing images from the Copernicus satellite and sending search and rescue teams to the field in accordance with Turkey’s request. He told me that the information had been sent.
Hans Das said: “We are currently analyzing all options for assistance,” and summarized how the Copernicus satellite system contributed to the earthquake in Turkey:
“Thanks to this operational emergency center, we, as the EU Commission, have a satellite imagery system. The Copernicus system provides satellite imagery in emergency situations and can be quickly converted to cartography. Maps are very useful for detecting loss, damage, and the extent of destruction in buildings. It also provides a good display of details such as the state of the roads in the country. This is especially important during the first hours and first days of rescue work. This is, of course, a major logistical operation to provide the best possible assistance to more than a thousand people. These satellite images can also be used by the Turkish authorities for rescue efforts.”
Earthquake dialogue not established between EU and Damascus regime
Hans Das noted that no dialogue has been established either through Turkey or through the Damascus regime on how the EU has helped the victims of the earthquake in Syria, and said: “I can say that the current situation is difficult for everyone. We have a desire to help. The easiest and fastest way to do this is to be financially confident that our partners in the humanitarian assistance mechanism on the ground in Syria can provide the necessary assistance through UN agencies.”
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