Malaysia Sends Medical Contingent to Join Aid Effort for Earthquake-hit Turkiye

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia, which has joined the ongoing international aid effort to help the rescue operation in Earthquake-hit Turkiye, has increased its deployment there with a medical contingent along with a field hospital.

The last batch of the 109-strong Malaysian Armed Forces medical contingent left for Turkiye via a commercial flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport late Feb 11 (MST)

Field hospital equipment and associated medical supplies along with personnel had earlier left from Subang airbase near here early Feb 10 onboard two Airbus A400M tactical airlifters. It is believed to be the furthest deployment of the aircraft type in RMAF service.

Defence Minister Mohamad Hasan said the of the deployment military medical contingent  known as Operation Starlight was part of the Malaysian response to the disaster-hit region.

A multi-agency team of 70 search and rescue specialists, with life-saving equipment and rescue dogs have been deployed earlier last week.

The Malaysians joined scores of countries around the world including those from the Asia-Pacific such as Singapore, South Korea and India that have deployed humanitarian aid teams including recuers and doctors to Turkey and Syria. 

Singapore deployed 68 members of the Singapore Civilian Defence Force under Operation Lionheart to the disaster area.

A team of 118 Korean disaster relief and military personnel arrived by a KC-330 (MRTT 330) military transport aircraft Feb 8 to join in search and rescue operations in the country. Local media reported that the flight from Inchecon International Airport was the largest disaster relief team Korea has dispatched overseas in a single day. 

The Indian Air Force aircraft sent a team of search and rescue personnel from the country’s national disaster agency along with rescue dogs, medical supplies and equipment required for rescue missions.

A strong earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, which hit southern Turkiye and northwestern Syria Feb 6, has claimed thousands of lives. Turkiye, has  declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 provinces – Adana, Adıyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurf  – adj/mhi/mgm (pix: RMAF)