The Royal Australian Air Force has sent a C-17 Globemaster III loaded with urban search-and-rescue teams and supplies to Türkiye.
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The AUS 2 Disaster Assistance Response Team of 72 urban search-and-rescue specialists and more than 24 tonnes of supplies are travelling to assist in the aftermath of the country’s recent earthquakes.
The 7.8 and 7.6 Richter scale earthquakes felt on 6 February have been reported with an increasing death toll of 9,605 people in Türkiye and 3,574 in Syria as of 13 February.
AUS 2 DART team leader, Chief Superintendent Darryl Dunbar said the scale of the disaster was unheralded.
"Our team are trained to deal with what we’ll face in Türkiye,” Chief Superintendent Dunbar said.
“We’re unsure what we will find at first but will do our best to support the people of Türkiye in their hour of need.”
Chief Superintendent Dunbar said the team will assist local authorities in finding residents still trapped beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings.
“It’s all about the casualties on the scene, and that will be our focus. The environment will present problems. It’s cold and buildings are in a dangerous state,” Chief Superintendent Dunbar said.
“We will find solutions to any challenges we face. That’s what we train for, and our team are prepared.”
AUS 2 team members are based in NSW and include medical, engineering and search-and-rescue specialists. They will take rescue supplies for the operation, and not draw on limited resources in Türkiye.