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Cyprus quake rescue mission on standby

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A Cypriot rescue mission ready to depart for Turkey’s earthquake disaster zone is on standby, waiting for clearance after the EU said they would be called when needed.

The mission was scheduled to depart for Turkey to participate in the search and rescue efforts after Monday’s 7.8 Richter destructive earthquake.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Demetris Demetriou told CNA the Cypriot team is on “standby, ready to move and contribute to the efforts of the rescue teams when needed.”

He said the ministry was informed by the EU Civil Protection Mechanism that there are enough rescue teams in the area.

However, he emphasised that it is a situation that is “changing minute by minute”.

Civil Defence spokesperson, Panayiotis Liasidis, told CNA that the mission was expecting an aircraft from Romania, which would pick up the Cypriot rescuers.

He said that 17 people were part of the mission, 15 from Civil Defence, plus a doctor and a nurse from the Health Services.

The mission will take food, which they must have with them for the first days and medical equipment.

Meanwhile, a campaign to collect humanitarian aid for those affected by the deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria is being carried out.

The aid collection campaign will continue until February 17.

Items that can be donated include dry food, sleeping bags and mattresses, blankets, winter clothing and shoes, personal hygiene items, cleaning items, and diapers for children and adults.

Collections points are in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos, Trimiklini, Ayios Ambrosios, Polis Chrysochous, Liopetri, Sotira, Dherynia, Paralimni, Livadia, Aradippou.