Posted: 08.02.2023 11:58:00

Belarus’ rescuers off to Turkiye to eliminate earthquake consequences

Following President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s instruction, Belarus’ Emergencies Ministry has sent a special purpose emergency rescue unit – ZUBR – to Turkiye – to help in the search for victims who may be under the rubble after the earthquake, and in clearing settlements from the wreckage of destroyed buildings

The IL-76 plane, with Belarusian rescuers and special equipment on board, took off from the Machulishchi airfield in the early morning. Thirty-two specialists – including doctors, dog handlers, a chemical and radiation safety intelligence group, experts in assessing the stability of building structures – went to Turkiye, as well as five search dogs. Two MAZ trucks, two cross-country passenger cars and all the necessary emergency rescue tools that may be needed to carry out search operations and release the victims – such as endoscopes, acoustic search devices that can detect the victim in the rubble at a depth of up to 5m, ground-penetrating radars and thermal imagers – were on board as well.  

“The team is fully ready to deal with the rescue of people, to clear rubble and concrete structures. We have unique equipment for this, and specialists, of course,” ZUBR Head Igor Zarembo said. “When responding to emergency situations, the unit is able to perform tasks autonomously for 10 days at two sites simultaneously.”

As noted by the Emergencies Minister, Vadim Sinyavsky, the task for today is to accept an assignment for deployment in the area of emergency rescue operations, to prepare a camp and to start eliminating the consequences of the disaster.

“The first group of 32 ZUBR rescuers has been sent to Turkiye today. They have the necessary equipment and tools. The next group is to go tomorrow, and it will promptly begin emergency rescue work. The mission will last 12 days, with travel time taken into account. A decision on the further presence of our rescuers on the territory of Turkiye will be made depending on the situation,” Mr. Sinyavsky informed.

In total, sixty-four Belarusian rescuers will be involved into elimination of the earthquake consequences in Turkiye.