Operation Dost: Operation Dost: Quake-hit survivors in Turkey flock to Indian Army field hospital; 7th flight delivers more aid | India News

NEW DELHI: The seventh flight under Operation Dost landed in earthquake-hit Syria on Sunday with over 23 tons of relief material comprising sleeping mats, gensets, solar lamps, tarpaulins, blankets, emergency and critical care medicines, and disaster relief consumables.

The aid was received by deputy minister of local administration Moutaz Douaji at the Damascus airport.
The flight then took off for Adana in Turkey where it offloaded another 12 tons of relief material for the earthquake survivors there, including medical equipment like patient monitor, ECG, syringe pumps and disaster relief material.

The Indian Air Force C-17 aircraft also offloaded supplies for the Army field hospital that has been set up in Turkey’s Iskenderun, and various National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams.
The 96-member 60 Para Field hospital is operating out of a school building in the Hatay region. Lieutenant Colonel Adarsh said the team comprises orthopaedic specialists, surgeons, and maxillofacial surgeons to take care of multi-trauma cases that are expected in such a disaster.
He said that they have performed 10 surgeries, including the amputation of a patient who had recovered from the rubble.

The field hospital is seeing hundreds of patients daily. Lieutenant Colonel Adarsh said the local people are grateful for the services being provided by the Indian doctors. “I can see it in their eyes, even if they are not expressed in the language that we understand that they are grateful for the services that we are providing to them. It is very obvious in their eyes when I look into them,” Lieutenant Colonel Adarsh told ANI.
Furkaan, a Turkish national, expressed gratitude to the Indian Army as it was the first group that reached Iskendrun. He said that people with all health issues were being treated in the field hospital. “I am really grateful to them because they’re the first group that arrived in Iskenderun. I call them dost. Actually, dost is just a friend, but I see them like brothers and sisters.”
India was among the first countries to help earthquake-hit Turkey, according to Turkish envoy Firat Sunel.
Within hours of the tragedy, the Indian Air Force scrambled a C-17 aircraft to Adana with 47 personnel from the NDRF, 3 senior officers, and a specially-trained dog squad.
The rescue teams deployed drones in the quake-hit areas to identify those trapped under the rubble, and also used drones to transport medications, food, and supplies. The NDRF teams is using tools that break through concrete slabs and other building materials to free victims, as well as radar for detecting heartbeats.
A day after the tragedy, the IAF sent two more C-17 aircraft packed with relief material to Turkey. The two flights contained relief supplies, a mobile hospital, and additional specialised search-and-rescue teams. Along with NDRF personnel, the Agra-based Army Field Hospital dispatched 96 medical staff.
With chances of finding more survivors growing more remote, the toll in both countries from the January 6 earthquake and major aftershocks rose above 28,000 and looked set to keep growing. It was the deadliest quake in Turkey since 1939.
(With inputs from agencies)
Watch Ground report from Indian Army’s 60 Para-field hospital functional in Turkey’s Hatay

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