MOP prays for PH search & rescue troops sent to Turkey

Rev. Father Mario Aliwan of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines and Office of the Chaplain Service led the blessing of the Armed Forces of the Philippines uniformed personnel who were part of the Philippine search and rescue contingent that was sent to Turkey on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Philippine humanitarian mission to Turkey ( Manila Bulletin photo)

Fr. Aliwan, who has the rank of a second lieutenant said, the MOP will be praying for the 33 AFP personnel (21 from the Philippine Army and 12 from the Philippine Air Force) and the rest of the 85-man team who were sent to Turkey after it was struck by a powerful 7.8 earthquake on Monday, Feb. 6.

Department of Health Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire said 31 personnel from the Health Bureau with 16 tons of medical supplies and medicines were also sent to Turkey.

Turkish Airlines brought the team, equipment, and goods to Turkey.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council mobilized the Philippine search and rescue contingent.

Other members of the contingent were from the OCD and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

The Philippine Embassy in Turkey said at least 248 Filipinos were affected by the earthquake, but there have been no reported casualties so far. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that no Filipino in Syria was injured or killed.

Latest reports said, more than 11,000 people have been killed and thousands injured by a huge earthquake that struck south-eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, in the early hours of Monday (Feb. 6) morning.

The earthquake, which hit near the town of Gaziantep, was closely followed by numerous aftershocks - including one quake which was almost as large as the first.