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Greece’s EMAK rescuers leave Turkey as mission concluded

Greece’s rescue mission ΕΜΑΚ is leaving earthquake-stricken Turkey and returns to Athens on Sunday evening. the Greek rescue mission has concluded after it reached stage 5 of the protocol.

EMAK rescuers will depart from Adana airport with a civil flight, while the equipment and the three special rescue vehicles will be transported by c-130 aircraft.

A total of 36 rescuers of the 1st and 2nd EMAK in Athens (21) and Thessaloniki (150 respectively participated in the mission with three rescued dogs together with two Fire Service officers-engineers with expertise in supporting columns in the ruins of collapsed buildings, 8 doctors and paramedics of EKAB ambulance service.

According to the Fire Department, the cycle of the mission was completed and following a recommendation from its head to the coordinating center in the area, the green light was given to leave.

At this time, the rescue and search operations have moved to the fifth and final stage, the “full range search and recovery in the field”, according to the special protocols for rescuers.

At this stage, the work of the rescuers is gradually completed and from now on digging machines reportedly take over the ruins of the buildings with the digging machines.

A spokesman of the Fire Service spoke of the fragile security condition in the area and told STAR TV on Sunday evening that they cannot operate at night and that they need police or army protection during the day.

Greek EMAK was one of the first rescue teams to fly to Turkey a day after the earthquake and immediately started to seek for people buried alive under the rubble in Antakya, Hatay province in South-East Turkey.

They recovered five people alive and as many dead.

PS for those wondering why rescuers go when there are so many under the rubble, note that there are several factors including rescuers’ protocols for the mission duration.

In general the first 72 hours are critical for rescues, even though rescues continued still until Sunday, however with very little positive results. There were just two on early Sunday.

Heavily injured people under the rubble have hardly any chance to be pulled alive 7 days after the earthquake. They have probably already succumbed to their injuries and other factors like hypothermia.

Those buried deep in the rubble with tons of concrete above them cannot be pulled out as that would be a risk also for rescuers. I saw a video where rubble falling over rescuers operating at the bottom of a building.

There are protocols for rescuers regarding factors like safe work conditions, tiredness, security, health conditions in the area etc.

The disaster expands for dozens of kilometers and proper intervention is hardly possible to all collapsed buildings estimated to be over 12,000. Howeve,r one should note that there are still local and international rescue teams operating in the area.

When thermal cameras and rescue dogs cannot locate any signs of life, rescuers go and machines take over.

Unfortunately that is the bitter truth and is implemented worldwide.

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One comment

  1. The rescuers are beyond amazing.👏👏👏