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Earthquake in Turkey: the EU civil protection unit on alert

(BRUSSELS2) The European civil protection system (MIC) has been put on alert since the start of the earthquake in Turkey on Sunday (*). The Erdogan government initially refused any international aid, believing it did not need it. Faced with the intensity of the earthquake – there were nearly 500 deaths, more than 1500 injured and, above all, some 200.000 people left homeless – they just changed their minds and requested international assistance. The European Union should also quickly send a team of European civil protection experts to coordinate European aid and carry out additional assessments. Other countries are mobilizing…

  • Turkey was hit by a major earthquake in the east of the country. The epicenter is located about twenty km northeast of the city of Van (380.000 inhabitants), with an estimated magnitude varying from 6,6 to 7,3 according to seismology institutes. The lower end of the range, assessed by the Kandilli Seismology Institute in Istanbul, the upper end by the American Geophysical Institute USGS, occurred on Sunday in eastern Turkey.

First needs : shelters

According to some reports, Turkey's first request for assistance is based on the possibility of having means of accommodation to accommodate the many families who survived the earthquake and who are facing harsh climatic conditions. The temperature drops below 0°. We therefore need heated tents, beds, blankets, etc. On the other hand, it would not seem necessary to have research teams in an earthquake situation. The need is covered, underline the Turkish authorities.

Mobilization of Member States

Several countries have already responded. And others could do so in the hours that follow.

La France announced on Wednesday that it was preparing to send a humanitarian aid plane carrying a large batch of large family tents intended for the homeless. This " plane will be able to leave Paris on October 27 bound for Erzurum, the logistics center for relief, according to the planning defined by the Turkish authorities » clarified the Quai d’Orsay.

La Belgium has already confirmed wanting to send “ as soon as possible » a team of around fifteen people from B'Fast enabling the setting up of a heated tent camp, providing accommodation for around 2000 people.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).