Hong Kong’s search and rescue team have found three survivors in the rubble of the earthquake which rocked Türkiye and Syria last week.
“We are very excited and encouraged to be able to find three survivors six days after the earthquake,” the commander of the rescue team Yiu Men-yeung said on Sunday, according to a Fire Services Department press release. “The team will grasp every opportunity and do its best to find the remaining survivors,” he added.
“In the next few days, we will continue to stay in touch with the international rescue coordination team and let them assign work for us,” he added, according to RTHK. “We also saw some areas that were seriously damaged, but where there were no rescuers yet. We will do some inspections in these areas. If residents seek help, we will contact the coordination team and do rescue work if appropriate.”
The southern part of Türkiye and parts of neighbouring Syria were hit by a 7.8 magnitude quake a week ago, followed by a 7.7 magnitude quake about nine hours later.
The confirmed death toll surpassed 28,000 on Sunday, as hopes of finding more survivors fade. Some 2.4 million people have been affected.
The 59-person Hong Kong rescue team left the city last Wedneday – they joined teams from the United Kingdom, South Korea, China, and Taiwan.
Hong Kong’s contingent includes 49 members of the Fire Services Department’s Urban Search and Rescue Team, and two rescue dogs.
Officers from the city’s Security Bureau, Immigration Department, and the Department of Health were also dispatched.
The UN aid chief Martin Griffiths told the BBC that he thought the incident to be “the worst natural disaster that I’ve ever seen and it’s also the most extraordinary international response.”
Turkish authorities have issued 113 arrest warrants in connection with shoddily constructed buildings which collapsed during the quake.
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