On Tuesday, pop music superstar Madonna took to social media to urge her fans to support the victims of the two massive earthquakes that have devastated Turkey and Syria. The post included a digital artwork of a Greek firefighter (EMAK member) holding a child that he had saved from the rubble.
As the rescue phase of operations moves into recovery, the estimated death toll in both countries continues to rise. The latest figures indicate that over 41,000 people have been killed by earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
Greece was among the first countries to dispatch rescue teams and humanitarian aid to the earthquake-stricken region. Members of the rescue mission returned just a few days ago from Turkey, with the rescue phase of the disaster relief operations drawing to a close.
Madonna urges support for earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria
“Everyone is talking about Love on Valentine’s Day!! Let’s send All our Love and Healing energy to Turkey And Syria who have suffered great Loss and Devastation in this immense earthquake,” Madonna posted on social media.
“33,181 people have died. So many have lost there homes and jobs not to mention their loved ones. Entire cities have been erased. It’s Heart breaking!” the popstar continued.
Madonna also included a link to the Ahbap website, where she called on her fans to donate.
Greek rescue mission
When news of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria reached the rest of the world, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis instructed specialized teams to be immediately sent to assist rescue efforts.
A specialist EMAK team from the Hellenic Fire Service was immediately dispatched to Turkey on board a C-130 military aircraft from Elefsina airport. Additional personnel were deployed as the humanitarian crisis deepened.
The Greek mission consisted of 36 officers of the 1st and 2nd EMAK (Special Disaster Response Unit), two officers – engineers of the Fire Brigade with specialization in supporting the ruins of collapsed buildings, eight doctors and ambulance service paramedics, three rescue dogs and three special rescue vehicles, as well as the head of the Organisation for Anti-Seismic Planning and Protection (OASP), Professor Efthymis Lekkas.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias also flew out to Turkey on February 12, where he met with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and promised the latter that Greece would continue to provide Turkey with humanitarian aid and assistance to deal with the consequences of the earthquake.
“Thank you to the Greek search and rescue teams. From the day they arrived, they made an effort 24/7. Good neighborliness is evident on such days,” Çavuşoğlu said.