New Delhi: Ten Indian nationals are stuck in remote parts of earthquake-hit Turkey and one citizen is missing, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said while giving out details of ‘Operation Dost’, under which India has extended assistance to the devastated nation.
Stating that the 10 Indian nationals are safe, Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West) in MEA, said the missing Indian national was on a business visit to Turkey in Malatya.
“He has not been traced for the last two days. We have been in touch with his family and the company in Bengaluru which employs him,” Verma said.
He said the MEA has set up a special help desk in Ankara to receive and anticipate such queries. “We have received calls from about 75 persons, asking the embassy for more information and assistance,” he said. “Three other Indians who had approached us have moved to safer habitation and are doing alright. We have already deputed teams for rescue operations to the affected areas.”
Besides the vastness of the geographical spread of the area affected, the climatic conditions are harsh, Verma said. Temperatures are sub-zero at night; transport and communication links have been disturbed; and cellphone towers have been affected, “so communication can be patchy,” he said.
“Plus, the focus is on rescue, and (thus) other regular services — water, power — could be in shortage,” he said. “Apart from one Indian missing and 10 Indians who are safe but in tough conditions, we don’t have any other reports at this point of time.”