The UK has sent thousands upon thousands of thermal blankets from the UK to Turkey and plans to build a hospital in the field to treat anyone who was seriously injured by Monday’s earthquake.
Rescue teams are on the ground trying to locate survivors in what Turkish President Recep Takyip Erdogan described as the “disaster-of-the century”.
Over 21,000 people have been confirmed dead in Turkey and Syria. Tens of thousands are also badly injured by the aftershocks and 7.8 magnitude earthquakes.
Turkey-Syria earthquake: Latest updates
Many buildings have been destroyed and others are structurally weak. Now, the focus is on helping survivors to stay warm, even though temperatures are below freezing.
The Ministry of Defence confirmed that the thermal blankets were flown by an RAF transport plane tonight. Additional emergency aid will be issued over the next few days.
It stated that a new field hospital would be constructed and equipped with an operating theatre 24/7 as well as beds for patients of high dependency.
To reach people in difficult-hit areas and to move casualties around the country, a C130 Hercules helicopter and a critical support team are also on their way.
Ben Wallace, Defence Secretary, stated that the UK is ready to help our friends and allies during this time of great need. We will not close our options for additional assistance if necessary.”
The number of deaths in Turkey and Syria is now higher than the 18,400 people who died in an earthquake off Fukushima, Japan in 2011, and the 18,000 who were killed in the 1999 Istanbul earthquake.
Officials are worried about the number of deaths and the likelihood of finding survivors in the coming days. Rescue teams are now faced with difficult decisions.
Adiyaman saw someone pleading for rescuers to search the rubble of a building in which their family was trapped. They refused, claiming that no one was living there and that they should prioritise areas with the best chance of finding survivors.
Experts believe that it is possible for people to survive for up to a week in a collapsed building. However, far fewer survivors are being pulled out of the wreckage.
Two-year-old boy, who had spent 79 hours in Hatay rubble, was saved. This raised spirits among exhausted search crews.
Antakya also had footage that showed a 10-year old girl being found alive. To free her, medics had to amputate her arm. Her parents and three siblings also died.
What was the cause of the earthquake’s destruction?
Find signs of life in the city at epicentre
The earthquake decimated the family of a woman.
Appeal for Donations Launched
The Disasters Emergency Committee launched a fund appeal that attracted the support of famous people like Sir Michael Palin, Tamsin Greig, and Daniel Craig. It also received the backing from the Prince and Princess Of Wales.
The money will be used to pay for medical treatment, shelter for people who have lost their homes, and blankets, warm clothing, and heaters for safe places.
They also ensure that people have enough water and food, with the DEC anticipating increased humanitarian needs in the future.
Local volunteers set up aid centres to distribute food, water, warm clothes, and supplies to the most affected villages.
The UK government will match donations of the public to the PS5m fund.
White Helmets is a volunteer organization in Syria that warns rescuers that time is running out and says: “Every second saves a life.”
On Friday, Sky News will air a special program called Disaster Zone: The Turkey–Syria Earthquake