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Dogs in Uzbek team played crucial role during search, rescue operations in quake-hit Turkiye

March 8, 2023 at 8:19 pm

Search and rescue dog by rubble on Trabzon Street in Dulkadiroglu district of Turkiye’s Kahramanmaras province in the earthquakes, on March 02, 2023 [Ankara Metropolitan Municipality/Anadolu Agency]

Trained dogs played a very crucial role during search and rescue operations in quake-hit Turkiye, said a member of the rescue team from Uzbekistan, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“The dog almost senses that the person under the debris is alive or dead, and reacts accordingly. If it detects a person alive under the debris, it barks louder, and if it detects dead bodies, it groans silently. They were very helpful in finding survivors,” Ubeydullah Rozmetov told Anadolu upon his return to Uzbekistan.

Rozmetov, who was a part of the Uzbek rescue team sent to Turkiye, which he noted was comprised of five specially trained dogs, said this was the first time he worked in the wreckage of buildings destroyed in earthquakes of this magnitude.

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“It was a very difficult situation. It was the first time we faced the consequences of such devastating earthquakes. While we were continuing our rescue efforts, we also experienced an earthquake. After this earthquake we experienced, we understood the situation of the earthquake victims better,” Rozmetov said.

“It was very scary. It was the first time in my life that I experienced such an earthquake,” he said, while describing a 6.3 magnitude quake that hit the region as he and his team were conducting search and rescue operations.

Noting that his team acted very quickly during search and rescue efforts, Rozmetov said they made an effort to save as many lives as possible and that his dog, named Baron, was also constantly searching for people stuck under the debris.

He also said that the trained dogs generally do not have trouble detecting people under the debris, but they had difficulties this time around because many buildings were destroyed in these earthquakes.

More than 46,100 people were killed in Turkiye by earthquakes that struck on 6 February, according to officials.

The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes, centred in Kahramanmaras, rocked 11 provinces, including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, Elazig and Sanliurfa.

Around 13.5 million people in Turkiye have been affected, as well as many others in north-western Syria.

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