The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) has extended its support to the Venezuelan team that arrived in Türkiye during the Feb. 6 earthquakes, providing them with two vehicles and search-and-rescue equipment.

The vehicles and equipment acquired under this initiative were handed over to the Urban Search and Rescue Unit (UNACID) personnel at a ceremony held in the capital, Caracas. Turkish Ambassador Aydan Karamanoğlu and TİKA Head of Department for East and South Asia, Pacific and Latin America Dursun Ali Yaşacan officiated the ceremony.

As part of the aid provided, the team received a set of equipment, including two off-road vehicles, technical gear for rapid and fully equipped deployment in disaster and emergency situations, drones, radios and dog transport cages.

Karamanoğlu expressed satisfaction with the dedication shown by the Venezuelan team during Türkiye’s earthquake disaster, emphasizing that this donation serves as a token of gratitude. Yaşacan highlighted the invaluable work of the Venezuelan team, extending thanks on behalf of the Turkish people.

Marcos Sequera, general coordinator participating in search and rescue operations in Türkiye under UNACID with his dog “Kay,” described Türkiye as a “fraternal country” and emphasized that their support during difficult times has brought the two nations closer together.

Headquartered in El Tocuyo, UNACID is a civilian and volunteer team comprising 20 personnel and seven dogs. It distinguishes itself as Venezuela’s only professional search and rescue team with canine capabilities.

On Feb. 6, 2023, a pair of powerful earthquakes struck southern and central Türkiye, leaving a trail of destruction that continues to impact the region today. The first tremor, measuring a massive 7.8 magnitude, hit at 4:17 a.m. local time, sending shockwaves across a vast area. This initial quake was followed by another strong tremor of 7.7 magnitude later in the day.

The earthquakes caused widespread damage in both Türkiye and neighboring Syria. Buildings crumbled, infrastructure was severely compromised, and entire communities were devastated. The human cost was immense, with tens of thousands of lives lost and many more injured.

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