Hungary sends 55-strong elite rescue team to earthquake-hit Turkey

The Hungarian Hunor search and rescue team. (MTI/Tamás Kovács)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

As Turkey struggles with the aftermath of the worst earthquake in a century, Hungary has sent a 55-strong search and rescue team complete with search dogs to the region. By the time of this writing, the death toll has exceeded 4,300, but authorities fear that this will rise further, as many more people may be trapped in collapsed buildings.

“The Hunor Rescue Unit was set up 11 years ago, and since then, the Hungarian disaster response team has proven to be one of the most prepared rescue organizations in the world. They have assisted in disaster situations in Serbia, Macedonia, and Japan, among others,” said Bence Rétvári, state secretary at the Ministry of the Interior.

The activities of the “elite unit” of the Hungarian Civil Protection will also strengthen the Hungarian-Turkish friendship, Rétvári said.

The team going to Turkey has 55 members, and in addition to firefighters, military doctors and ambulance service staff are also taking part in the work. The search dogs are trained to help find people even through a maze of twisted concrete and steel.

The crew and 90 tons of equipment will be transported by a Hungarian Air Force Airbus 319 from Liszt Ferenc Airport to Adana Airport in Turkey. After their arrival, Turkish disaster management will direct the Hungarian rescue team.

The equipment of the Hunor rescue team ensures that it is fully self-sufficient for 10 days, meaning that they will not have to use the resources of the local disaster management, they said. Turkey has requested international assistance through the European Emergency Response Center.

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