Rescue Diary in Türkiye: Chinese rescuers receive donuts from locals at quake ruins in Türkiye

(People's Daily Online) 16:55, February 10, 2023

"Chinese rescuers have been warmly welcomed by local people in the quake-hit city of Malatya, Türkiye, and the locals have brought us donuts to express their gratitude," Zhang Yunlu, one of the Chinese rescuers in Türkiye and head of China's Blue Sky Rescue team in Yangzhou city, east China's Jiangsu Province, told People's Daily Online.

Zhang arrived at the earthquake-stricken area at around 10 a.m. on Feb. 9 local time, and was shocked by what he saw in the devastated city. "There were ruins as far as the eye could see," he said.

The temperature in Malatya city is still low, dropping to below zero degrees Celsius at midday, according to Zhang.

The roads at the damaged areas are frozen and slippery, and many buildings have collapsed in the disaster, he said.

Photo shows the donuts Chinese rescuers received from local residents of quake-hit Malatya city, Türkiye. (People’s Daily Online/courtesy of Zhang Yunlu)

"Rubble is everywhere. Pieces of rubble lie on top of each other and are covered with snow, which makes rescue work more difficult," he told People's Daily Online.

"Our top priority is to search for signs of life," Zhang said, adding that rescuers work in groups, with each group being responsible for a specific type of task. Zhang's group is responsible for communication between different sites for the supply of materials and the transfer of personnel.

"As soon as a sign of life is detected, we need to immediately send the appropriate machinery and rescue personnel to the spot where the survivor is, so as to ensure the rescue operation can be carried out smoothly," Zhang said.

Local overseas Chinese and warm-hearted volunteers have provided great support for the rescuers, according to Zhang, who revealed that they have made thoughtful preparations for work handover, and also prepared living supplies for them, including drinking water and bread.

"The transnational rescue operation is touching, heart-warming, and heart-shaking," Zhang said. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Wu Chengliang)


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