A search and rescue team from British Columbia has taken part in the successful rescue of a woman from earthquake rubble in Turkey, more than four days after the tremor hit.
Footage by the CBC showed members of the Burnaby Urban Search and Rescue team being thanked and embraced by Turkish colleagues on the scene, moments after the dust-covered woman was taken to an ambulance in the town of Adiyaman on Friday.
The volunteer Canadian team had earlier shared photos on social media showing them at work in Adiyaman, where Turkey’s consul general in Vancouver said they had been deployed early Thursday.
The Burnaby team is the only Canadian rescue crew in the quake zone, after the consulate said a deadline for others to participate had expired.
B.C.’s Emergency Management Minister Bowinn Ma shared news of the rescue on Twitter on Friday and said the government is “incredibly proud,” and remains in daily contact with federal authorities to provide help.
A post on the Burnaby search team’s Facebook page says it is “getting reports of trapped people messaging on their phones for help” after what it said was a long day at work in the town in southeast Turkey.
The team said there had been 235 people rescued in Adiyaman since the first quake.
The Vancouver consulate said Thursday that the Burnaby team “is and will be the only team from Canada” acting as rescuers in the quake zone, after it independently offered help.
Ma said Thursday that the Burnaby team “self-deployed.”
Canadian federal authorities have not given an official go-ahead to any rescue teams since Monday’s quake, which has killed thousands.
Ottawa has sent an assessment team and committed $10 million to relief efforts.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 10, 2023.