Two weeks after the devastating earthquakes in Turkiye and Syria, a 50-member Tajik rescue team that arrived in Turkey on February 9 completed its tasks and returned to Tajikistan today early morning. 

A plane with Tajik rescuers on board reportedly landed in Dushanbe International Airport at 1:00 am

At the airport, they were solemnly greeted by their relatives, representatives of the Government, Turkish Ambassador to Tajikistan and public activists.    

Recall, Tajikistan sent a group of 50 rescuers and doctors, as well as 2.5 tons of special equipment, to Turkey on February 9 to help deal with the aftermath of the February 6 earthquake. 

This was the first time that rescuers from Tajikistan have traveled abroad to provide assistance and participate in disaster relief efforts.

Over two weeks of recue-and-search operations, Tajik rescuers have saved three people and pulled 217 bodies from the rubble.  

photo / Emergencies Committee of Tajikistan

Tajik rescuers reportedly saved three people, including two children, in the earthquake-hit Kahramanmaras province.

On February 11, Tajik rescuers reportedly pulled a man his six-month-old son alive from under the rubble of a collapsed of a building.  According to statement released by the Emergencies Committee, they were trapped under the rubble of the building for six days

Turkiye’s Anadolu Agency (AA) reported on February 12 that Tajik rescue workers have found and pulled a 3-year-old baby alive from under the rubble of a collapsed building.  He reportedly spent 158 hours there.  

The operation was carried out with use of special devices for detecting people under rubble, according to AA.

Since February 18, Tajik rescuers had reportedly worked in Hatay province.

During his visit to the Hatay province Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on February 20 reportedly highly appraised the work of Tajik rescuers and expressed sincere gratitude to the government of Tajikistan and the Tajik people for the assistance and support provided the Turkish people in such a difficult time.

A devastating earthquake of 7.8 on the Richter scale hit Southern Turkiye in the early hours of February 6 (4.17 am local time), with epicenter in the Pazarcık district of Kahramanmaras province.

Meanwhile, media reports say two earthquakes that hit Turkiye and Syria on Monday – two weeks after powerful quakes killed about 49,000 people in both countries – left eight dead and up to 300 injured.  Up to a dozen buildings reportedly toppled on both sides of the border.