Hong Kong on Wednesday sent a search and rescue team to Turkey, after the government there called for international help following Monday's earthquakes that have now killed at least 11,000 people.
Speaking at Hong Kong International Airport ahead of the 59-strong team's departure for Istanbul, Turkey's consul general here, Peyami Kalyoncu, expressed his gratitude.
"I wish them all the best. Time is of the essence. The weather condition is not favourable in the region so their job will not be easy but we expect to hear very good news from them," he said.
"We will always remember this very valuable support of the Hong Kong government, in coordination with the mainland government of the People's Republic of China."
The acting Chief Executive, Eric Chan, and the Security Secretary, Chris Tang, were also at the airport to thank members of the team ahead of their departure for Istanbul.
The Fire Services Department's Urban Search and Rescue Team has 49 members. They include firemen, ambulancemen and fire services workshop personnel, as well as officers from the Security Bureau, the Immigration Department and the Department of Health. It is headed by deputy chief fire officer Yiu Men-yeung.
The team will also be taking 8 tonnes of equipment, including cutting machines and life detectors. On arrival, it will work alongside local search and rescue teams.
Chan said so far there had been no reports of Hong Kong residents seeking help in the areas hit by the quakes.
Last updated: 2023-02-09 HKT 01:56