In response to the disaster caused by the earthquake that struck southern Turkey and northern Syria at dawn on 6 February 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has provided immediate support worth HUF 40 million through the Hungary Helps Program to deploy Hungarian medical and technical civilian rescue teams. We are supporting the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service with a further HUF 50 million to provide medical assistance to people in distress in Northern Syria.
So far, the death toll in Turkey has exceeded five and a half thousand and the number of injured has reached 35,000. In Syria, more than 2,000 people have already been killed by the natural disaster, the number of injured estimated to be several times higher, and tens of thousands of buildings have collapsed in the affected areas.
The winter weather and sub-zero temperatures are forcing rescue teams to race against time. From Hungary, six search and rescue teams are now working in Hatay province in Turkey, where the worst damage has been seen. Volunteers and staff of the National Directorate General for Disaster Management, the Baptist Rescue Service, the Pest County Search and Rescue Service, the Life Signal Rescue Team, the Counter-Terrorism Centre and the Reformed Charity Service are doing their work with a total of 116 volunteers and 19 rescue dogs. So far, 16 people owe their lives and survival to the Hungarian rescue teams.