Two Aussies still missing after Turkey earthquake

Australia is sending rescue crews to Turkey along with 22 tonnes of equipment and critical supplies.

Australia is sending rescue crews to Turkey along with 22 tonnes of equipment and critical supplies. Photo: AAP

Two Australians remain unaccounted for after a devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria but a third has been found safe.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Friday confirmed one person feared missing had been located while extending her condolences to the family of an Australian man who died in the disaster.

The body of Sydney man Can Pahali’s body was found in rubble after members of his family flew to Turkey from Australia to help search for him.

“I extend to all those waiting for news my sympathy and expression of support,” she said on Friday.

The foreign affairs department is helping dozens of Australians and their families affected by the earthquake as the death toll surpasses 20,000 across Turkey and Syria.

Tributes are flowing in Australia with one iconic landmark lit up in solidarity with Turkey and Syria following news of Mr Pahali’s death.

The families of the Australians still missing in the region are holding on to hope their loved-ones will emerge from the devastation.

A black ribbon was projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House on Thursday night as a symbol of remembrance and mourning.

The magnitude-7.8 quake struck the southern Turkish province of Kahramanmaras on Monday, badly impacting parts of neighbouring Syria as well.

On Friday, more than 70 emergency service personnel will fly out of RAAF Base Richmond to assist with search and rescue efforts.

The contingent includes 52 firefighters trained in urban search and rescue operations and disaster response and five special operations paramedics.

Fire and Rescue NSW Assistant Commissioner David Lewis said the crews were taking everything they needed to be self-sufficient.

That included 22 tonnes of high-tech equipment and critical supplies, from tents and bandages to bolt cutters, chainsaws and drills.

“We are virtually taking a hardware store over with us,” Mr Lewis said.

Technical equipment includes search cameras, or “snake cams”, to help find survivors in the rubble; laser building monitoring systems to alert rescue workers when rubble moves; and seismic listening devices, which can detect further tremors and any survivors tapping for help.

“This gear will go wherever our firefighters are deployed … we have everything they’ll need from climbing harnesses and portable radios to triple-A batteries and notepads,” Mr Lewis said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced his state would contribute $1 million to immediate humanitarian aid, while NSW donated $1 million to UNICEF.

“The support of every Victorian is with affected communities and with our state’s large and proud Turkish and Syrian communities,” Mr Andrews said.

“The scale of devastation in Turkey and Syria is difficult to comprehend and it is without hesitation that we have pushed these funds out to support UNICEF in those broken regions,” NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said.


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