Seven-minute response time for Turkish earthquake
Sunday morning's earthquake in Turkey was the first major test for Kizilay, the Turkish Red Crescent, since it revamped its disaster preparedness programme based on lessons learned from the 1999 earthquake operation. Kizilay's Afyon branch reached the affected region within seven minutes of the earthquake which measured 6 on the Richter Scale and struck an area 250 kms south-west of the capital, Ankara, killing 43 people and injuring 318, including 30 seriously. Red Crescent volunteers arriving on the scene brought blankets and tents. Within 48 hours, another 150 truckloads of humanitarian assistance were dispatched to meet the shelter and other needs of the thousands left homeless or afraid to return to their damaged houses because of continuing after-shocks. "It is very encouraging to see that the lessons learned from the 1999 earthquake operation have been so well implemented. Assessments are underway looking at psychological support for the survivors and rehabilitation needs," said Federation Head of Delegation, Carl Naucler.