The Armenian Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) is sending humanitarian aid to Turkey after the latter requested international support in the wake of a devastating earthquake in its eastern province of Van.
Also, according to yet unconfirmed reports, a team of 15 Armenian rescuers is expected to set off to Turkey to assist in the ongoing operations in Van.
Overall 40 tons of goods, including tents, sleeping bags, blankets and other commodities, would be shipped to the neighboring state on board an Il-76 plane. Earlier, Armenian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Tigran Balayan said that Ankara has officially accepted Armenia’s offer of assistance. Armenia was among the first countries that pledged assistance to Turkey after it was hit on Sunday by a powerful 7.2-magnitude quake. The latest death toll has reached 531 and the number of injured is expected to hit at least 1,600. An official request of the Turkish government for aid was made through the Turkish Red Crescent and the Euro-Atlantic Disasters Response Coordination System. President Abdullah Gul said Turkey is not discriminating between countries that have offered help. Turkish authorities had said there was a need for tents, prefabricated houses and living containers “in the reconstruction phase following the search-and-rescue efforts”. Incidentally, the tremors originating from that earthquake as well as its aftershocks have also been repeatedly felt in most parts of Armenia, creating some concerns among the local population.