MDA offers assistance to Turkey after earthquake

"I view this as an opportunity for collaboration... offer all assistance towards saving lives anywhere," and have "great appreciation" for Turkish Red Crescent, MDA's director-general Eli Bin wrote.

Earthquake aftermath in the Turkish eastern city of Elazig, Jan. 25, 2020 (photo credit: PRESIDENTIAL PRESS OFFICE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Earthquake aftermath in the Turkish eastern city of Elazig, Jan. 25, 2020
Magen David Adom (MDA) has offered humanitarian aid to the Turkish Red Crescent in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake in Turkey's Elazig province.
"We are anxiously tracking the developments," wrote MDA director-general Eli Bin in a letter to Turkish Red Crescent president Dr. Kerem Kinik on Saturday. "Our heart goes out to the Turkish people and to those who have lost loved ones. The Turkish Red Crescent is respected and highly experienced in responding to disaster. MDA leadership, its employees and volunteers are following with admiration after the effective response given by the forces," he said.
"This is a significant earthquake that requires a large-scale response and collaboration between a large number of organizations," said Bin, adding that he had "great appreciation" for the Turkish Red Crescent, which has already set up a control center in Ankara and a field kitchen capable of feeding 5,000 people daily. Some 2,500 shelter tents were set up for families, blood has been secured to supply to hospitals and mental health teams are available as well.
"I view this as an opportunity for collaboration and offer all assistance towards saving lives anywhere in the world. This is how MDA has operated in the past and will continue to do so," stated Bin.
A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck eastern Turkey on Friday, about 550 km. (340 miles) east of Ankara. At least 22 people were killed and at least 1,100 others were injured as rescuers continued to search for survivors trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings.
On Friday night, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu described it as a "Level 3" incident according to the country's emergency response plan, meaning it called for a national response but did not require international help.
Turkey has a history of powerful earthquakes. More than 17,000 people were killed in August 1999 when a 7.6 magnitude quake struck the western city of Izmit, 90 km. (55 miles) southeast of Istanbul. About half a million people were made homeless.
During a visit for the World Holocaust Forum last week, President of Albania Ilir Meta thanked IDF soldiers for their help after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Albania in November, killing 51 and injuring over 3,000. Some 11,000 buildings were damaged, leaving as many as 13,000 people homeless, according to JNS.
Meta awarded the "Golden Eagle Decoration" to the IDF's National Rescue Unit. Israeli military engineers were among foreign volunteers who worked to determine whether some buildings were safe after the earthquake.
"I want to express to you Albania’s deep gratitude for the human solidarity and the inspirational compassion shown during the inspection, evaluation of earthquake-damaged buildings and dwellings, and in particular for calming down residents and for advising Albanian citizens affected by natural disaster, further consolidating the friendly and historical relations between our two nations and our countries," said Meta to the soldiers on Thursday, according to the Albanian Daily News.