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Bosnian search and rescue teams return home from quake-hit Türkiye

Bosnian search and rescue teams have returned home after spending last week in Türkiye, following the powerful earthquakes on February 6.

The teams were greeted with tears and applause by their family members in front of the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the capital Sarajevo as they arrived on Sunday.

Sixty-nine members of the Mountain Rescue Service with three dogs and 51 members of the Federal Civil Protection Agency with four dogs took part in search and rescue operations to save the lives of people trapped under the rubble in Türkiye’s southeastern.

Following their arrival, the teams traveled to the Azici neighbourhood of Sarajevo, where they were congratulated by the Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Fadil Novalic, and the Turkish ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sadık Babur Girgin.

Novalic said that everyone knew that it was a difficult assignment.

“Neither you nor we could have guessed how difficult the task was. There are some among you who will never forget the scenes you saw there for a lifetime,” he added.

Girgin told the teams that every life they have saved is worth a humanity.

A member of one of the teams, Dzenadin Veladzic, said they worked hard to meet the needs of the Turkish people during their stay.

READ MORE: Lyon to Kahramanmaras: French woman drives her truck 4,300 km to bring aid

Following the February 6 disaster, Türkiye issued a level-4 alert, calling for international aid.

More than 249,000 search and rescue personnel are currently working in the field, according to Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).

More than 11,000 international search and rescue teams participated in the post-quake operations, although many of them have already returned home.

Around 100 countries have offered assistance so far, with many having sent rescue teams.

At least 41,020 people have been killed by two strong earthquakes that jolted southern Türkiye on February 6, according to the latest data provided by the country’s disaster management agency.

The toll in Syria has reached 5,814, taking the combined death toll in both countries to at least 46,834. 

Here is how you can help the earthquake victims.

The 7.7 and 7.6-magnitude quakes were centreed in Kahramanmaras and struck 10 other provinces – Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Hatay, Gaziantep, Malatya, Kilis, Osmaniye, Elazig and Sanliurfa.

More than 13 million people have been affected by the devastating quakes.

Several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon, also felt the strong tremors that struck Türkiye in less than 10 hours after the first powerful quake.

Live updates: Türkiye ends rescue efforts in nine provinces

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