Icelandic SAR Team Prepared to Go to Turkey Skip to content

Icelandic SAR Team Prepared to Go to Turkey

The Icelandic international search and rescue squad is on the alert because of the earthquake, measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale, which hit Van Province in southeastern Turkey yesterday morning.


The Icelandic SAR team in Haiti. Courtesy of ICE-SAR.

Dozens of buildings collapsed leaving people trapped in the rubble; as many as 1,000 lives are believed to have been lost, as stated on

According to a press release from ICE-SAR, the team leaders of the international squad are monitoring the situation through the information channels of the United Nations but there has been little confirmed information yet about the damage caused by the earthquake.

Between 15 and 20 international search and rescue squads, including the Icelandic unit, are currently on standby but a formal request for assistance has yet to be received from Turkish authorities.

The Icelandic SAR squad is comprised of search and rescue specialists, physicians from Landspítali national hospital and emergency technicians from Reykjavík Metropolitan Fire Department.

Ólafur Loftsson, one of the squad’s leaders, told that it appears that the disaster area is relatively small and that domestic SAR teams have the situation under control.

Also because of the time that has passed since the earthquake hit, he considers it unlikely that assistance from Iceland will be called for.

The Icelandic international SAR team was last called out to search for survivors after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

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