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Feb. 7
, 2023

MMDA Joins Philippines’ Humanitarian Contingent to Quake-Hit Turkey

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will deploy a 12-man team to Turkey following a 7.8-magnitude earthquake on February 6 that left more than a thousand people dead, forming part of the Philippine contingent, with the Office of the Civil Defense, Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Army, and the Philippine Air Force (PAF), among others.

The MMDA team, according to MMDA Acting Chairman Atty. Don Artes, is composed of well-trained disaster rescuers who were previously deployed to help in the rescue and retrieval operations in Bohol, Nepal, and Pampanga which were also hit by earthquakes in 2013, 2015, and 2019 respectively.

"The ambassador of Turkey requested the team's deployment along with rescuers from other concerned government agencies. The contingent will be transported by Turkish Airlines at no cost," said Artes as he extended sympathy to the people of Turkey affected by the devastating quake.

The MMDA is in close coordination with the OCD for the transport, logistics requirements, and other preparations necessary for assistance to the earthquake-hit country, Artes added.

"They will bring their experiences to Turkey to contribute support to its disaster response efforts and to express solidarity with the international community. We, the MMDA family, wish our team a safe journey. The country is proud of all of you for this heroic deed."

The agency will also provide the team's winter clothes to keep them warm as the temperature in Turkey is at four degrees Celsius.

The team will stay for an undetermined number of days in Southern Turkey near the Syrian border to assist in the ongoing rescue operations in earthquake affected areas and will bring with them portable search and rescue tools such as life locator and v-strut which can locate victims under rubble of collapsed structures.

The MMDA chief said this mission will be a valuable experience for the team as they will be working alongside rescuers from other countries. The agency, according to Artes, is continuously increasing its capabilities in preparation for the Big One.

Thousands of people died and thousands more were injured across Turkey and Syria from the powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake, one of the strongest to hit the region in more than 100 years.

For his part, Valmocina said that the cleared area will be turned over to its barangay captain to maintain the orderliness in the area.

“The DILG will monitor the cleared areas. Should the barangay captain fail to maintain the cleanliness of their areas of jurisdiction, they will face appropriate sanctions,” Valmocina stressed.

The clearing operations is part of the agency’s intensified clearing operations along key routes in Metro Manila to keep the road free from obstructions.

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The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority joins the Philippine humanitarian contingent to earthquake-hit Turkey with its 12-man team. The well-trained disaster rescuers of the agency have been previously deployed in past disaster response across the country and in Nepal last 2015 and will bring with them portable search and rescue tools to help locate victims under rubble of collapsed structures. 

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