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Turkish team set to help boost quake rescue efforts: Minister

04/06/2024 06:19 PM
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials welcome seven Turkish search and rescue experts. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials welcome seven Turkish search and rescue experts. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Taipei, April 6 (CNA) Taiwan will bolster its rescue operations after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the country earlier this week by working with a team of Turkish experts, Interior Minister Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) said Saturday.

Seven Turkish rescuers are set to arrive in Taiwan at 6 p.m. Saturday and will come armed with drone technology to assist in the rescue efforts in light of the challenging terrain in the earthquake-affected area, said Lin, who also heads the Central Emergency Operation Center (CEOC).

A search and rescue K-9 unit locates a missing person during a mission on Friday. Photo courtesy of Hualien County Fire Department
A search and rescue K-9 unit locates a missing person during a mission on Friday. Photo courtesy of Hualien County Fire Department

The magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck off the coast of Hualien County in eastern Taiwan at 7:58 a.m. on April 3, leaving 13 dead, six missing, and more than 1,000 injured as of 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

According to Lin, none of the drone equipment used so far has been effective in the rescue work at Taroko Gorge, one of the hardest hit areas.

It would be beneficial to leverage the expertise of the Turkish team in drone operations to hopefully obtain crucial aerial footage and enhance the efficiency of rescue efforts, Lin told reporters after a CEOC meeting.

Upon arrival in Taiwan, the team will use thermal imaging equipment and other tools procured by Taiwan to assemble the drones, and then proceed to Hualien to assist in disaster relief efforts, Lin said.

Other than the drones, local rescue capabilities and resources are plentiful, Lin said, confirming that the Turkish team was the only foreign rescue team Taiwan had accepted technical assistance from.

(By Liu Chien-pang and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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