With experience accumulated in Brumadinho and in landslides that occurred on the coast of São Paulo, in Rio de Janeiro and in Bahia, a team of 34 firefighters from São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo should arrive this Friday night (10) in Kahramanmaras, a city with 670 thousand inhabitants in the region of the epicenter of the earthquake that swept parts of Turkey and Syria in the early hours of last Monday (6).
The Turkish city is one of the hardest hit by the disaster, with 20,000 of its 50,000 buildings uninhabitable and around 2,200 destroyed. It is 80 km from Gaziantepe, where the Sheet arrived on Wednesday.
“We brought almost ten tons of equipment,” said Colonel Carlos Alberto de Camargo Júnior, of the São Paulo Fire Department and operational commander of the rescue force. “There are machines for breaking concrete, drilling for wood, metal props, food, water and medicine. The only thing we didn’t bring was what couldn’t be transported on the plane, which is fuel for the machinery.”
The team also has two doctors, two representatives from the Civil Defense of São Paulo and two from the National Civil Defense, in addition to five rescue dogs. The group traveled to Turkey on a FAB (Brazilian Air Force) plane and, this Friday afternoon, was awaiting transport by the Turkish Air Force to Kahramanmaras. Initially, the destination was the Adana region, but there was a change in planning.
Three “calamity kits”, each containing 250 kg of medication and emergency items, were donated by the Ministry of Health. They have the capacity to serve up to 1,500 people for a month.
According to Camargo, “90% or more of the team’s firefighters worked in Brumadinho”. “All 22 who came from São Paulo were there. Some worked in Mozambique and Haiti. But this is a more complex mission, because the language is different and we know that few Turks speak English. In addition, there is the issue of the cold. Temperatures are below zero, which is an aggravating factor.”
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