Canadian assessment team dispatched to Turkey for earthquake relief effort

Canada sent a disaster assessment team to Turkey on Wednesday following the devastating damage. earthquake It killed thousands of people as the federal government faced criticism that windows to help rescue efforts were closed.

Minister for International Development Harjit Sajjan announced the deployment of the Canadian Disaster Assessment Team on Wednesday evening.He said it is made up of military and Global Affairs officials and will decide how Canada can contribute. earthquake relief work.

Speaking about the background to Sajjan’s approval, the senior government official stressed that the dispatch of the team does not automatically guarantee the dispatch of further resources to Canada.

magnitude 7.8 earthquakeThousands of buildings destroyed in Turkey and Syria on Monday, killing nearly 12,000 and injuring thousands

On Wednesday, the Turkish and Syrian communities in Canada were among those who warned that time was running out as local organizations sent teams abroad to support search and rescue efforts.British Columbia rescuers were deployed to the earthquake zone early Thursday morning local time.

Sima Akan, president of the Canadian Federation of Turkish Associations, said it was “very sad” that the Canadian government had yet to commit to sending search and rescue teams abroad.

“It’s been over 60 hours without any help just from hearing that Canada is ready to help. earthquake), I am very upset,” said Akan, speaking to the Canadian Press from Istanbul.

Acan said he fears it’s already too late for most people under the building.

“We probably lost most of the people who were under a lot of heavy blocks, so minute and second matter,” she said. “We’re losing them.”

Marwa Kobie, executive director of the Syria-Canada Foundation, said she was “disappointed” by the federal government’s response to the disaster.

“Hundreds of people are dying every hour. The longer we wait, the worse the situation gets,” she said.

Rahul Singh, executive director of the Toronto-based humanitarian organization Globalmedic, said the lack of an official team to support relief efforts on the ground showed Canada was not doing enough. said there is. The group’s own team was en route to Turkey on Wednesday.

“Canada’s response has been woefully inadequate and that’s just a symptom of bad governance. It has a very poor government when it comes to foreign policy and a terrible track record when it comes to disaster response,” he said.

Canada’s response to the disaster has come under attack as search teams from more than 20 countries have joined tens of thousands of local emergency personnel in Syria and Turkey.

Experts said survival is fast approaching for those trapped under rubble or without access to basic necessities. At the same time, they said it was too early to give up hope.

“The first 72 hours are considered critical,” says Steven Godby, a natural disaster expert at Nottingham Trent University in England. 22%, 6% by day five.”

Ottawa announced $10 million in aid, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday the federal government is still deciding how best to help.

“We have been talking with our diplomatic staff and local counterparts from the beginning and working with the international community to get the support we need and in the right way,” he said.

“We’re there to help. We’re just looking at how to do it the best way.”

Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the federal government will match up to $10 million in funds donated to Canadian Red Cross relief efforts.

Defense Minister Anita Anand said late Tuesday that the federal government had not ruled out the possibility of sending a disaster assistance response team to assist with recovery efforts, but was working to find out what would be most useful.

“All options are being considered. And from a defensive standpoint, we are certainly looking at (DART) as an option,” she said.

The Canadian evaluation team will recommend whether to submit additional support, such as DART, with the federal government making the final decision.

Canadian humanitarian workers, meanwhile, traveled to Turkey to help on Wednesday.

Volunteer for Burnaby Urban Search and Rescue based in BC. earthquake Rescuers from around the world arrived in Turkey late Wednesday, the group announced on social media.

Turkish Consul General in Vancouver Taylan Tokmak told the Canadian Press that the team was deployed to the earthquake zone early Thursday morning local time.

In Vancouver, donations to disaster victims earthquake It poured into a warehouse on Tuesday, but volunteer organizers said having professional search and rescue personnel on the ground in the next 72 hours would have a quicker impact.

“At the moment, time is our enemy,” said Cansoy Gurocak.

Tyler Griffin and Jessica Smith