By: Rosli Mansor Ahmad Razali
GAZIANTEP (Turkey): MAS-01 SMART team found the bodies of six earthquake victims in a hotel building and a seven-storey residential building that collapsed fully at Nurdagi on Friday.
Five bodies consisting of a woman and four men believed to be part of a family were found at 9.30 am local time (2.30 pm Malaysian time) while the sixth body, a woman was found at 2.10 pm (7.10 pm Malaysian time).
The MAS-01 SMART team is a search and rescue (SAR) team from Malaysia that was first sent to Turkey, last Monday.
On Wednesday, the Malaysian government sent another 20-member SAR team, Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART), 30 members of the Fire Department and Malaysian rescuers and 20 Malaysian Civil Defense Force officers.
Nurdagi is one of the areas in Gaziantep that was badly affected by the strong earthquake that hit southern Turkey, last Monday.
According to a media statement today, it was found that the town of Nurdagi suffered severe destruction when residential buildings two to seven stories high collapsed completely.
The rubble area assigned to the MAS-01 SMART team is a hotel and a seven-story high residence that has completely collapsed and is believed to contain more than 100 victims who died in the collapse of the building.
A strong earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck southern Turkey and northwest Syria last Monday, claiming thousands of lives.
The number of victims in the tragedy of the strong earthquake in Turkey continues to rise with so far a total of 20,318 people reported dead while more than 80,000 others were injured, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported citing the country’s disaster agency on Friday.
On Tuesday, Turkey declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 provinces namely Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa to ensure the SAR mission runs smoothly.