National rescue team heads to Turkey
- By Dashmaa D -
- Feb 10,2023
According to the government’s decision, a team of rescuers, doctors, nurses, and humanitarian goods have been sent to Turkey to participate in the search operation. Mongolian Deputy Prime Minister, and Head of the State Emergency Commission, S.Amarsaikhan met with the members of the search and rescue team that will work in Turkey and gave instructions. He said “Mongolia and Turkey have developed a strong relationship. The Government of Turkey provided humanitarian goods and materials to alleviate the consequences of the drought that occurred in Mongolia in 2010 and 2016 and provided hay and fodder to herders in some provinces and villages where the winter was difficult. Please do not cause difficulties in the activities of the host country, consider possible risks and ensure your own safety and the safety of others. I want you to work side by side with international rescuers, work with professional skills, and honorably fulfill my duties and come back.”
Turkish Ambassador to Mongolia Zafer Atesh said, “Thank you to all of you who are going to the disaster area to save the life and health of even one Turkish person. The people of Turkey will always be grateful and remember you Mongolians in difficult times.”
Mongolian Search & Rescue Team headed by the Deputy Chief of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Brigadier-General B.Uuganbayar and his rescue team of 35 search and rescue specialists and two search dogs called Marta and Balu headed to Turkey at 4:34 a.m. The Mongolian search and rescue team landed in Gaziantep at 10:00 a.m. local time.
The Mongolian Government has handed over the humanitarian aid sent to the people of Turkey. Turkey issued a humanitarian invitation to provide medical aid, search and rescue operations, and food and clothing to countries around the world. Accordingly, the government sent 1500 woolen blankets, 10 tons of meat, 2 tons of candles, and other humanitarian aid. The humanitarian aid was handed over to the leader of the Mongolian team, deputy head of NEMA, brigadier general B.Uuganbayar, ambassador acting on special duties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mustafa Yurdakul. On this occasion, he expressed his gratitude for the warm spirit of the Mongolian people. After the plane landed, the search and rescue team moved to the epicenter of the earthquake, Hatay, 200 km from Gaziantep. As of February 9, the rescue team of Mongolia has saved the lives of 3 people. As of February 9, more than 15,000 people have died, according to the BBC.
Mongolians are participating in aid donations to Turkey
The Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry released the following information on its website on February 8. “We are deeply saddened by the terrible earthquake that hit the territory of Turkey and Syria, and express our condolences for the heavy losses suffered by the people of the Republic of Turkey. The business and economic relations and cooperation between Mongolia and Turkey have developed rapidly in recent years, and at this time when many people have lost their lives and the damage is increasing due to the earthquake, the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Mongolia wishes the people of Turkey to overcome the disaster with minimal damage. We are launching aid and support initiatives. We appeal to all member organizations and business owners to join the donation campaign in all ways.” As of February 9, up to 10 enterprises and companies have joined this campaign.
B.Oyunsukh, a businesswoman residing in Turkey, reported on her website that she requested to provide assistance to citizens in special areas and to make homeless citizens live at home. When we asked her about this, she said, “NEMA didn’t accept my request because the number of volunteers is sufficient, and they said they needed more tools. I live in Izmir. It’s calm and normal here.” Also, when I asked her if she had any information about the Mongolians at the epicenter of the earthquake, she said, “A husband and wife and 4 children are in a temporary shelter in Gaziantep. Just connected via Messenger. I can’t connect you with them because they don’t have enough power to charge their phones.” She also reported, “A decision has been made to provide financial aid to people in Turkey affected by natural disasters, and Mongolians are actively participating in donations, and so far, about 6 million MNT have been collected in my accounts. This money will be sent to the disaster relief account tomorrow morning.” on February 8.
Balu and Marta, members of the rescue team
The National Rescue Team under NEMA and the officers of the General Staff of the Armed Forces will be on duty. The team includes dogs named Balu and Marta from the Search Dog Service of NEMA. Balu is three years old. Worked as a rescuer in the General Emergency Management Agency for two years. He was named so by his owner because he looks like a bear from the cartoon “Mowgli”. Balu has a unique ability to constantly seek out and bark when he catches a scent. At first, he was a dog who was afraid of dark, small, and cramped places. But gradually that fear disappeared, the owner said.
Marta went with Balu on duty. He was named so because he was born in March. Martha is now five years old. It means that Marta is two years older than Balu and has much more experiences. A dog with special abilities has been involved in rescue operations since 2019 and has found a missing person in Terelj. Also, in 2019, he took first place in the Detection Dog Championship held among the forces. That is why he was given the responsibility and heavy duty to go to Turkey and help the victims of natural disasters. His owner said, “I have been working with dogs for the last seven years. There are many advantages to working with dogs. Dogs are animals that are loyal to their owners when their owners become closer to them.”