India is sending a field hospital, medicines, rescue teams to earthquake-hit Turkey and Syria under "Operation Dost", foreign minister S Jaishankar tweeted on Wednesday.
The 7.8-magnitude quake struck Monday as people slept, flattening thousands of structures, trapping an unknown number of people and potentially impacting millions.
The World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that time is running out for the thousands injured and those still feared trapped. The death count from the quake has risen to 9,500.
"Every day we see ups & down in geopolitical situations but India has stable relations with countries. As per our policy of 'Vasudaiva Kutumbakam' - India stands forever for humanity," Mr Jaishankar told news agency ANI today when asked about support to Turkey despite New Delhi's differences with Ankara.
A fourth C17 plane of the Indian Air Force carrying relief assistance for Turkey's earthquake victims landed in Adana today.
"The fourth @IAF_MCC aircraft leaves for Turkiye with the remaining component of the field hospital. This includes 54 members of the Indian Army medical team as well as medical and other equipment to establish the facility," Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.
Under #OperationDost, India is sending search and rescue teams, a field hospital, materials, medicines and equipment to Türkiye and Syria.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) February 8, 2023
This is an ongoing operation and we would be posting updates. pic.twitter.com/7YnF0XXzMx
Turkey has called India a "dost" for its generosity for providing funds to the country after the earthquake caused massive destruction.
Ambassador of Turkey to India Firat Sunel thanked New Delhi and said, "a friend in need is a friend indeed."
"Dost" is a common word in Turkish and Hindi... We have a Turkish proverb: "Dost kara gunde belli olur" (a friend in need is a friend indeed). Thank you very much India," said the Ambassador.
India decided to immediately despatch search and rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force, medical teams and relief material to Turkey following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's instructions to offer all possible assistance to the country on Day 1.
Dozens of nations including the United States, China and the Gulf States have pledged to help, and search teams as well as relief supplies have begun to arrive by air.
A winter storm has compounded the misery by rendering many roads -- some of them damaged by the quake -- almost impassable, resulting in traffic jams that stretch for kilometres in some regions.
The Turkey-Syria border is one of the world's most active earthquake zones.
Monday's earthquake was the largest Turkey has seen since 1939, when 33,000 people died in the eastern Erzincan province.