US completes 100-bed emergency field hospital in southern Turkey

The US has set up a 100-bed emergency hospital in southern Turkey, which was hit by devastating earthquakes in early February, according to the US Embassy in Ankara.

“Over 60 U.S. military service members worked with their Turkish partners to establish the site, which is equipped with an emergency room, two operating rooms, and an intensive care unit, along with critically needed medical supplies and equipment,” the embassy said on Twitter.

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck near the Turkish city of Gaziantep – home to around 2 million people and on the border with Syria – as people were sleeping on February 6 was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a 7.5-magnitude temblor that jolted the region in the middle of search and rescue efforts the same day.

“In the U.S. we’ve committed $185 million as a government, and from the private sector in the United States that amount is approaching $100 million,” US Ambassador to Turkey Jeffry Flake said.

The UN launched a $1 billion funding appeal to support millions of people in Turkey.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier said in a statement that the funds would provide humanitarian relief for three months to 5.2 million people. The money would “allow aid organizations to rapidly scale up vital support,” including in the areas of food security, protection, education, water and shelter, he added.

UN humanitarian agencies will need $397.6 million in funding over the next three months to respond to the most pressing humanitarian needs of 4.9 million people in Syria who have been affected by the quakes, tthe Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

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