Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh chaired a gathering in Hanoi on March 17 to honour collectives and individuals of working delegations from the ministries of Public Security and National Defence engaged in search and rescue in Turkey in wake of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
The quake, occurred on February 6, has been the largest in Turkey since 1939, killing tens of thousands of people and injuring hundreds of thousands of others, destroying tens of thousands of buildings. Turkey declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces and appealed for assistance from the international community. It was the first time Vietnam had sent a large staff, including 76 officers from the Ministry of National Defence and 24 from the Ministry of Public Security (MoPS), to join in search and rescue in a foreign territory.
Col. Nguyen Minh Khuong, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Public Security’s Police Department of Fire Prevention and Fighting and Rescue, said the delegation coordinated to rescue one survivor and handed over 14 bodies of victims to medical units.
They also donated nearly 2 tonnes of medical equipment, visited and presented gifts to victim families, he said.
Maj. Gen Pham Van Ty, deputy head of the Search and Rescue Department under the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army, said from February 13-22, the delegation conducted search in 31 locations, found 28 dead victims and partnered with counterparts from Bahrain and Mexico to bring 10 dead victims out and hand over three sites with victims to local rescue forces.
They voluntarily raised 4,000 USD to help local residents buy food and supplies. Before returning home, they donated 25 tonnes of relief goods to local authorities.
Speaking at the event, PM Chinh said the engagement in post-quake search and rescue efforts in Turkey is a vivid demonstration of the sound foreign policy, the sense of responsibility and the international solidarity spirit of the Vietnamese Party, State and people. This also affirms Vietnam's reputation and capacity of dealing with international issues which have been highly appreciated by the international community, the Turkish Government and people and welcomed by the Vietnamese people.
As climate change will become worse and unpredictable, he noted that search and rescue hold extreme significance in the cause of protecting national security, social safety and order and well-being of the people. It is also a crucial task in the national defence system.
Therefore, fine-tuning mechanisms, policies and laws in the effort is a key and urgent task, he said, adding that it is necessary to learn from lessons in Turkey to add them into training sessions, enhance coordination between ministries, agencies and localities in coping with non-traditional security issues as well as pool public involvement in the effort.
On the occasion, the PM presented his certificates of merit to collectives and individuals in recognition of their contributions to the effort.