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Swiss team assists search for Turkey quake victims

A Swiss search and rescue advance team was on its way to Turkey on Tuesday to assist local efforts to find survivors of a massive earthquake that killed hundreds of people, Swiss authorities said.

This content was published on August 17, 1999

A Swiss search and rescue advance team was on its way to Turkey on Tuesday to assist local efforts to find survivors of a massive earthquake that killed hundreds of people, Swiss authorities said.

The Swiss Disaster Relief Unit said the nine-member advance team – which includes three sniffer dogs – would be followed Wednesday by an enlarged group of about 100 rescuers, 18 sniffer dogs and 16 tonnes of special equipment.

Apart from Switzerland, Japan, the United States, Russia, Mexico and Israel all have offered help to Turkey.

The country’s state-run TRT television reported that at least 1,000 people had died in the tremor, which struck in the early morning hours.

The magnitude 6.7 quake was centred on the northwestern industrial city of Izmit, about 90 kilometres (55 miles) east of Turkey’s biggest city, Istanbul.

Most of the dead were crushed in their sleep as the force of the earthquake destroyed apartment buildings across the heavily populated Marmara Sea region.

The Turkish government said it was sending food, medical aid and tents to the region.

“We have no problem concerning food and tents but we would especially like dogs, life-saving and wreckage-clearing equipment,” said Ahmed Sagar, Turkey’s coordinator of emergency relief.


From staff and wire reports.

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