Ehud Barak 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Tarmoni/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday ordered defense officials to fly special equipment
to Turkey to aid in the country's rescue and recovery, following a
deadly earthquake in the eastern Van province on Sunday.
RELATED:Erdogan visits quake disaster, says he fears for villagesSearch and rescue in Turkey
According to a
statement released by Barak's office, the decision to send the equipment to
Turkey came after Turkish authorities requested assistance from Israel.
Israel first offered help on Sunday
when the earthquake struck, in a move seen as easing strains over
Israel's killing of nine Turks on board a Gaza-bound flotilla last year.
The assistance will focus on temporary buildings necessary for the rehabilitation of people rescued and evacuated at disaster sites in Turkey, as well as essential field hospital structures. Israeli Air Force aircraft were scheduled to transfer these buildings beginning on Wednesday.
The Turkish request was transferred via the Israeli Consul stationed in Ankara.
The death toll from the 7.2-magnitude quake rose to 432, from an earlier
366 on Tuesday, the Disaster and Emergency Administration said. The
final count was likely to rise further as many people were still missing
and 2,262 buildings had collapsed.
Rescuers pulled a two-week-old baby girl alive from the wreckage of a
collapsed apartment block on Tuesday as they battled to find survivors
from the earthquake that
left thousands homeless.
The baby's mother and a grandmother were also brought out alive on
stretchers to jubilant cries from onlookers who followed the dramatic
rescue under cold, pouring rain.
"It's a miracle!", said Senol Yigit, the uncle of the baby, Azra, whose
name means "purity" or "untouched" in Arabic. "I'm so happy. What can I
say. We have been waiting for two days. We had lost hope when we first
saw the building," he said sobbing.
However, hope of finding more people alive under tons of rubble faded
with every passing hour as rescuers pulled out more bodies.
Thousands slept for a second night in crowded tents or huddled around
fires and in cars across a region rattled by aftershocks in Van
province, near the Iranian border.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called his Turkish counterpart
Tayyip Erdogan on on Monday evening to personally offer assistance with
the recovery efforts from the devastating earthquake that rocked Turkey
Netanyahu “expressed his condolences” to the earthquake victims and
expressed Israel to offer help, if it was required, said an Israeli
Erdogan thanked Netanyahu for his concern and for the offer of support, said the official.
This was the first telephone conversation between the two prime
ministers since Turkey downgraded Israel's diplomatic status in
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report