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Published: 10:21, February 09, 2023 | Updated: 14:12, February 09, 2023
HK govt sends rescue team to quake-hit Türkiye
By Wang Zhan and Xi Tianqi
Published:10:21, February 09, 2023 Updated:14:12, February 09, 2023 By Wang Zhan and Xi Tianqi

Hong Kong's Acting Chief Executive Chan Kwok-ki (fifth left) shows support to the members of a search and rescue team that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government sent to the quake-stricken areas in Türkiye on Feb 8, 2023, to assist in the search and rescue work. (PHOTO / INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT, HKSAR)

HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Wednesday sent a search and rescue team to earthquake-hit Türkiye.

The 59-member team comprising officials from various departments departed for Türkiye Wednesday night, according to a government press release.

Led by Yiu Men-yeung, deputy chief fire officer of the Fire Services Department, the team has 49 members from the FSD's Urban Search and Rescue Team including firemen, ambulancemen and fire services workshops personnel, as well as officers from the Security Bureau, the Immigration Department and the Department of Health.

READ MORE: Erdogan admits quake relief problems as deaths pass 12,000

The HKSAR government will fully support the team and ensure they complete the mission smoothly.

John Lee, Chief Executive, HKSAR

The team is taking approximately eight tonnes of equipment, which includes life detectors and masonry cutting machines as well as the team members' daily necessities, added the news release.

The rescuers will join local rescue teams to start search and rescue work on arrival in Türkiye.

Acting Chief Executive Chan Kwok-ki, Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung, Director of Fire Services Andy Yeung, and Director of Health, Dr Ronald Lam saw the search and rescue team off at Hong Kong International Airport.

HKSAR Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu, who is currently visiting in the United Arab Emirates, thanked the rescue team for its professionalism and efforts to help save lives.

"The HKSAR government will fully support the team and ensure they complete the mission smoothly," Lee wrote on his social media account.
ALSO READ: Chinese civilian efforts intensify to help Türkiye quake rescue

Meanwhile, a six-member advance team from the Shenzhen Rescue Volunteers Federation heading to Adana, a quake-hit city in southern Türkiye, is expected to arrive at the disaster site around noon on Thursday and begin rescue operations.

The team includes five rescue members with international rescue experience, and one Turkish volunteer who will be responsible for translation and coordination throughout the process.

On behalf of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and the people of Hong Kong, acting Chief Executive Chan Kwok-ki signs the condolence book to express the deepest condolences to the victims of the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, at the Turkish Consulate General in Hong Kong on Feb 8, 2023. (PHOTO / INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT, HKSAR)

The federation has also assembled an additional 20-member rescue team, which will head to Türkiye with heavy equipment on Thursday. The teams will carry out at least one week of post-earthquake search and rescue work in the country.

On Wednesday morning, an 82-member rescue team sent by the Chinese government also arrived in Adana and started rescue work.

IN PICTURES: Chinese rescuers join earthquake relief efforts in Türkiye

The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) on Thursday morning dispatched a team of rescue workers with its first batch of medical supplies to Syria to assist the earthquake-hit country in rescue operations.

The RCSC sent the supplies at the request of the Syrian Embassy and the Syrian Red Crescent, which will meet the needs of up to 5,000 people.

After strong earthquakes jolted Türkiye and Syria on Monday, the RCSC has provided the Turkish Red Crescent and the Syrian Red Crescent with $200,000 in cash respectively as emergency humanitarian assistance.

With inputs from Xinhua

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