Hong Kong sends rescue & relief to aid Turkey battling disastrous quake

Following last Monday’s earthquake of magnitude 7.8 that struck Turkey and Syria, massive destruction and high casualties have led to countries across the world offering their support in all ways possible, including Hong Kong.  

Within days of the quake, the government dispatched a relief team with 59 members of two rescue dogs to Turkey. With personnel from the Departments of Health, Fire Services, and the Security Bureau, the rescue team has been able to offer significant assistance as they have found four survivors amongst the rubble and continue their valiant search efforts in severe conditions.  

The Turkish Embassy in Hong Kong put out a statement asking Hong Kongers to donate a list of items, including winter clothing for adults and children, and shelter supplies, as well as organized three collection points across the city with EGL Tours till 13th February, Monday, when a Turkish Airlines cargo flight was scheduled to transport the relief items to affected parts of Turkey.  

“We will also be deeply grateful for the in-kind contributions that will arrive from China to meet the emergency needs of the victims,” the consulate stated.  

One of the collection points, the office of EGL Tours in Causeway Bay, noted that residents had donated several tonnes of relief supplies, most offering bags of winter clothing as a winter freeze in the Central and Southern parts of Turkey have affected rescue efforts as well as the suffering of survivors.  

EGL Tours in Causeway Bay was one of the collection points for the donation drive (Photo: Kamakshi Gupta)

In total, as the collection drive ended yesterday, the Turkish embassy declared that Hong Kongers had donated over 20 tonnes of supplies in an effort to show their sympathy and support. At least two more cargo planes are expected to arrive in Hong Kong later this week, allowing for further donation drives. 

The Hong Kong Red Cross has also released an emergency appeal, asking for supplies on behalf of the Turkish consulate’s request as well as cash donations to support the humanitarian efforts of the Red Cross on the site for emergency relief and recovery. The donor centre in Causeway Bay said that they are expecting a group of people to donate blood and other supplies for relief this week. 

Hong Kong Red Cross’ Donor Centre in Causeway Bay (Photo: Kamakshi Gupta)

Hong Kong has partaken in mutual trade relations with Turkey for years, empowering the city to offer its support in such drastic times of distress. However, due to international sanctions placed on Syria, while Hong Kong has been unable to provide direct relief to the survivors there, Beijing has been an active participant in dispensing financial and rescue aid to affected parts of the country. 

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