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South Korean rescue team departs for Turkey

By Lim Jae-seong

Published : Feb. 8, 2023 - 11:35

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South Korean emergency rescue team heading to Turkey moves to board at Incheon Airport on Tuesday night. (Yonhap) South Korean emergency rescue team heading to Turkey moves to board at Incheon Airport on Tuesday night. (Yonhap)

The South Korean rescue team for the earthquake-damaged parts of Turkey departed Incheon Airport on early Wednesday.

The 118 members, mostly from National Fire Agency and South Korean Army, boarded the South Korean Air Force’s KC-330 aircraft after a departing ceremony at the first terminal in Incheon Airport, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This rescue team is the largest-ever dispatched by South Korea for emergency overseas rescue work.

They are to headed to Adana Air Base in southeastern Turkey, located close to the region where at least 7,300 died and more were injured from a series of strong earthquakes up to 7.8 magnitudes.

The rescue team was formed based on Turkey’s request, mostly with rescuers specialized in searching, as thousands of people are still believed to be trapped under rubble.

The government decided to dispatch the rescuers on Tuesday in line with its plan to provide $5 million in emergency humanitarian aid and provide emergency medical supplies to Turkey.

“It is only natural to help our brother country Turkey,” said President Yoon Suk Yeol, urging the government parts to cooperate for the emergency support.

The rescue team will decide on its detailed role and activity area after they arrive Turkey, jointly with rescue teams from other countries and the United Nations, South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lim Soo-suk said Tuesday.