KARACHI: A Pakistan Navy ship carrying 1,000 tons of relief goods for the February 6 earthquake victims departed for Turkey late on Tuesday.
The ship that departed from Karachi is carrying 1,800 large family-sized winterised tents and 29,000 blankets to tend to the quake survivors’ immediate needs.
The consignment also includes generators, dry rations, medicines, and clothing for the earthquake victims in Syria.
At a simple ceremony at Karachi Harbor, Ports and Shipping Minister Faisal Sabzwari, Turkish Consul General in Karachi Cemal Sangu, and Commander Pakistan Fleet Rear Adm. Faisal Abbasi saw off the ship.
The ship “PNS Nasr” will reach Turkey’s Mersin Port in 14 days, and after a two-day stay there, it will proceed to Syria.
Addressing the ceremony, Sabzwari reiterated Islamabad’s commitment to supporting the earthquake victims.
Recalling Ankara’s assistance to the thousands of victims of last year’s super floods across Pakistan, the minister said it is Islamabad’s turn to “pay back to our Turkish brethren.”
“It is, no doubt, a tough time but I am sure, by the grace of Allah, the great and resilient Turkish nation will soon come out of it,” he maintained.
In his remarks, Sangu thanked Islamabad on behalf of the government and the people of Turkey for its continuing support to the earthquake victims of both Turkey and Syria.
He observed that Pakistan was among the countries that sent rescue teams to the quake-hit regions, who were there to assist the people on the second morning.
“Your gesture of kindness and love means a lot to us. It makes us feel that we are not alone at this trying time,” he maintained.
Apart from the fresh batch of relief goods, National Disaster and Management Authority (NDMA) has already sent nearly 7,000 winterized tents, and more than 33,000 blankets to Turkey through air and road routes.
In the next two weeks, over 4,000 winterized tents will also be sent to Turkey through chartered cargo flights.
Moreover, local charities, including Al-Khidmat Foundation, Edhi Foundation, Baitussalam Welfare Trust, Sailani Welfare Trust, and Pakistan Red Crescent, have also been engaged in relief and rescue efforts in the earthquake-hit regions of Turkey and Syria.
The devastating twin earthquakes have claimed more than 44,300 lives, according to Turkey’s disaster agency.
The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes have impacted some 13 million people across 11 provinces, including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, Elazig, and Sanliurfa.
Over 10,200 aftershocks have been reported, including a 5.6 magnitude earthquake that jolted Malatya on Monday, killing at least one person and injuring 110 others.
The quakes also caused widespread devastation in parts of northwestern Syria, where the death toll has climbed to at least 5,840.