Over 100 Bulgarians take part in rescue work after deadly quakes in Türkiye

More than 100 search and rescue personnel and health staff from Bulgaria are in southern Türkiye to assist in efforts to help survivors after last week's massive earthquakes.

Twelve Bulgarian search and rescue specialists, along with four sniffer dogs and two vehicles, have joined efforts in Hatay province after serving in Adana, another quake-hit province, where 15 other search and rescue personnel continue to work, according to the Bulgarian Embassy in Ankara.

A medical team from the Bulgarian Health Academy was also later sent to Adana.

With 58 people and 18 vehicles, a search and rescue team from Bulgaria's Interior Ministry has aided efforts in the Besni district of Adiyaman province further east.

Also, 28 volunteers from the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv are helping in rescue efforts in Adana after the earthquakes.

Last Monday's magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 tremors were centered in Kahramanmaras and hit nine other provinces – Hatay, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Malatya, Adana, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa. They also hit several countries and caused widespread destruction in northern Syria.

More than 31,900 people were killed in Türkiye, according to the latest official figures, while the death toll topped 3,600 in Syria.

Radio Bulgaria has also reported that a group of Bulgarian volunteers are serving in search and rescue operations in Hatay, severely hit by the earthquakes.

"Under its Civil Protection Mechanism, the EU has already dispatched 38 rescue teams comprising more than 1,600 rescuers and 106 dogs. Separately, 12 member countries have sent 50,000 winter weather family tents, 100,000 blankets and 50,000 heaters," it added.

Bulgaria not just helping, also assisting transit of European aid

Located just northwest of Türkiye on the road between it and the rest of Europe, Bulgaria has also been helping European support get to the disaster zone, according to the Turkish envoy in Sofia.

"Bulgaria is not just sending aid. Since it is on the transit route, it also facilitates the passage of other aid from Europe. For the last two days, nearly 1,000 aid trucks have been passing through Bulgaria to Türkiye every day," Turkish Ambassador Aylin Sekizkok said on Twitter.

After several aid trucks mistakenly took a wrong turn near the northwestern Bulgarian city of Vidin, which is on the border with neighboring Romania, they were stranded in the snow and faced fines from the authorities.

Upon Türkiye's request, Bulgarian Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev immediately stepped in to resolve the situation, said Sekizkok.

Source: Anadolu Agency