A huge crowd.
A few hours after the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on Monday, thousands of Turks flocked to Istanbul airport to go to the area to help rescuers and victims, as shown in photos relayed by public television TRT.
A total of 110,000 people have applied to the Turkish public disaster management body (Afad) to go to the field to provide relief, assured one of its representatives.
According to Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya, 73 planes had taken off by 6 a.m., and a total of 12,752 volunteers were on their way to the quake region.
⏰06.00 itibarıyla #İstanbul'umuzdan;
✅ 7️⃣3️⃣ uçak ile
✅ 1️⃣2️⃣.7️⃣5️⃣2️⃣ personelimiz ve AFAD Gönüllülerimiz,
başta #Hatay olmak üzere #deprem bölgesine sevk edildi.
— Ali Yerlikaya (@AliYerlikaya) February 7, 2023
Afad indicates Tuesday morning that more than 25,600 people are mobilized to help the victims, half of whom are dedicated to search and rescue operations.
But international aid will also flow, with the arrival tonight of the first teams.
At least 45 countries mobilized
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at least 45 countries offered help following the quake.
During a speech at midday on Tuesday, broadcast by TRT, Vice President Fuat Oktay gave an update on international aid, which is being deployed.
He notably cited "the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Malta, India, Poland, Algeria, Italy, Moldova, Albania, Israel, Uzbekistan, Hungary, Germany, Serbia, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, the Russian Federation” as countries that have already sent aid.
A Reuters journalist filmed the arrivals of several teams at Adana airport, the nearest unscathed town to the epicentre.
Serbs, Romanians, Spaniards, Germans, Russians, last night rescuers from all over the world stormed #Adana airport in #Turkey with dogs and equipment to help.#Turkey #earthquake #Turkiye pic.twitter.com /9FE8siPRz9
— Antony Paone (@PaoneAntony) February 7, 2023
In total, according to the vice-president, this represents 3,294 volunteers and 9 search dogs, one of which was crossed by an Italian journalist with the Czech rescue services.
Airport of Adana.
Cani da ricerca e soccorso appena arrival dalla Repubblica Ceca.
— Ilario Piagnerelli (@ilario82) February 7, 2023
On the Syrian side, 300 Russian soldiers, stationed in the country, have been mobilized to help clear the rubble, the Russian army said, without giving further details.
Two French planes landed
At the request of Emmanuel Macron, a team of 136 rescuers from two search and rescue detachments of the Ministry of the Interior has been deployed to Turkey.
The two planes carrying them landed in Adana around 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
🇫🇷🤝🇹🇷 Arama kurtarma görevlilerimizi ve yardım malzemelerini taşıyan iki uçağımız da #Adana'ya indi.
#dayanışma #TurkeyEarthquake pic.twitter.com/u1MalyM9rq
– France in Turkey 🇫🇷🇪🇺 (@FranceenTurquie) February 7, 2023
A departure which took place within the framework of the "civil protection mechanism" initiated by the European Union on Monday morning, and which led to the mobilization of numerous teams in most of the Member States: 85 Spanish rescuers, 76 Polish firefighters or Italian civil protection personnel are also part of the deployed teams.
German volunteers also landed in Gaziantep on Tuesday morning.
In addition, 36 volunteers from the association Pompiers de l'urgence internationale, based in central France, left at 5:30 a.m. this Tuesday from Roissy airport, with 3 search dogs.
India, China, United States at the bedside of Turkey
India's foreign minister also hailed the departure of a first plane early Tuesday morning with 50 rescuers, a canine team and medical equipment on board, as a second plane prepared to take off .
First Indian C17 flight with more than 50 @NDRFHQ Search & Rescue personnel, specially trained dog squads,drilling machines, relief material, medicines and other necessary utilities & equipment reaches Adana,Türkiye.
Second plane getting ready for departure.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) February 7, 2023
For its part, Beijing announced on Tuesday the sending of aid of 5.9 million dollars, including specialized rescuers in urban areas, medical teams and emergency equipment, according to Chinese state media.
Japan posted a photo of the departure of its teams on Twitter, as did the Israeli foreign minister who welcomed the arrival of volunteers on Turkish soil.
American teams will also be there, including Californian firefighters, reports Los Angeles Times, while the NBC channel was able to film the departure of the firefighters.
#Turkey: @LACOFD deploying elite #USAR team to aid in rescue efforts.
—Robert Kovacik (@RobertNBCLA) February 7, 2023
Within the Gulf countries, Qatar has announced the establishment of a "field hospital" and the dispatch of "search and rescue teams" to Turkey.
Ditto for the United Arab Emirates, which also sends a team of this type “emergency aid” to Syria, and announced in the evening humanitarian aid of 13.6 million dollars for the country.
From Monday evening, many departures
As of Monday, Azerbaijan, a neighboring country of Turkey, was the first to send 370 rescuers in the hours following the disaster.
Switzerland and the United Kingdom have also done the same, with respectively 80 and 76 volunteers departing on Monday evening.
Earthquake in #Turkey: 80 Swiss rescue workers left Zurich for Adana, this evening around 9 p.m., with a specially chartered plane @RTSinfo pic.twitter.com/DaHhZEIXUt
— Julien Guillaume (@_jugu) February 6, 2023
“It is a somewhat mixed feeling between the apprehension of knowing what we are going to fall on (…) and the desire to be able to help people”, testified in particular a Swiss rescuer interviewed by RTS.