The Malta Independent 9 December 2023, Saturday
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‘We are facing a lot of challenges, but we are doing the best we can’ – CPD rescue team in Turkey

Wednesday, 8 February 2023, 14:33 Last update: about 11 months ago

The team of Civil Protection Department rescuers currently working in Turkey in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake which hit the country on Monday have spoken of the challenges they are facing, adding that despite all that they are doing their best.

The group spoke to Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri on Wednesday morning, a day after they arrived in the city of Malatya in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey.


In an update on Tuesday, the Civil Protection Department said that the team was responding to a hotel collapse where 120 people were missing.  The update said that the rescuers were in contact with eight people under the rubble.

However they have had no luck in recovering survivors so far.

“Those we managed to recover so far unfortunately were all dead.  The more time passes, the more our hope of finding survivors decreases,” one rescuer told Camilleri on the call on Wednesday.

“It’s very cold here… last night the temperature was of -6 degrees while we were working.  There are a lot of challenges: the language barrier is a big one, and the methodology of how we work isn’t the same,” the rescuer told the Minister.

“On our part though we are doing the best we can so that, where we can, we can support and help these people,” he said.

Camilleri in response told the rescuers to stay safe and that they are making the country proud.

“Our aim is to always honour our country and our uniform as that’s our duty,” the rescuers replied.

A team of 32 rescuers along with a rescue dog are currently in Turkey – one of some 20 European rescue teams which have gone to the stricken country after it and neighbours Syria were hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Monday.

Over 11,000 people have died as a result, with the death toll expected to climb further as hope dwindles that survivors will be found under the rubble.

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