Countries around the world have rushed to get aid to Turkey and Syria following Monday’s devastating earthquakes. Singapore is certainly doing what it can to assist in the humanitarian efforts, including sending members of the country’s civil defense force (SCDF) to conduct search and rescue operations. And their heroic efforts are already saving lives.
In a Facebook post from earlier today, SCDF said that their advance team, consisting of 20 officers, helped rescue a boy from the rubble of a collapsed 3-storey building in the city of Dulkadiroğlu in Turkey.
The SCDF team worked with a local rescue team and another from Spain to rescue the boy. The Spanish used a search dog to pinpoint the boy’s location while the SCDF used a fibre-optic scope to get visual confirmation.
“All three rescue teams used their cutting and breaking equipment to create an access through the rubble to reach the boy,” SCDF wrote in the post, noting the boy was rescued at 11:45 p.m. local time (or 4:45 a.m Singapore time) after a 3-hour rescue operation.
The post also noted that the operation took place amidst cold weather of about 2℃.
In addition to the 20-member advance team, an additional 48 SCDF personnel are being deployed to Turkey as part of “Operation Lionheart” including officers from the elite Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART), operations officers, medical doctors, paramedics, search specialists with four canines, hazardous materials assessment officers and support officers.
The estimated death toll from the powerful earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday is close to 16,000 as of today.
The Turkish Embassy in Singapore has called on local good samaritans to donate basic necessities such as clothing and food for the earthquake’s victims including winter clothes for adults and children, raincoats, boots, sweaters, scarfs, socks, as well as other supplies like tents, blankets, sleeping bags, canned food, diapers and women’s hygiene products.
If you have any items you would like to donate, you can mail or drop them off at the Turkish Embassy, 2 Shenton Way, SGX Centre 1 #10-03 Singapore 068804. Its opening hours are from weekdays 9am to 1230pm and 2pm to 6pm.