Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian search and rescue team (INASAR) ended their humanitarian mission in the Antakya area of Hatay province, Turkey, for victims of the M7.7 temblor on February 6, 2023.

Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Muhadjir Effendy lauded INASAR's work, saying the team contributed to international humanitarian tasks coordinated by the United Nations (UN).

"The mission carried out by INASAR is gaining trust not only as a representative of Indonesia, but also internationally. This is part of the UN mission," he said in a written statement received here on Thursday.

At the INASAR operation post at Hatay Expo, the minister, who was accompanied by the head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), Lieutenant General Suharyanto, informed that the INASAR team will return to Indonesia on a Garuda Indonesia flight on Thursday night.

After the earthquake, search and rescue (SAR) teams from several countries with medium and heavy International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (Insarag) qualifications worked under the USAR Coordination Cell and thereafter, on a smaller scale, under the Section Coordination Cell, the minister informed.

With the end of the golden time period for search and rescue, the activities are now being coordinated by the Turkish Disaster Management Agency (AFAD).

On Thursday, Effendy also disclosed future plans to increase the Insarag qualifications of the INASAR team to the heavy level. President Joko Widodo has agreed to push for the heavy qualification, according to international standards set by the United Nations, he noted.

"The President has ordered me to discuss the budget allocation. Therefore, there will be a specific policy," he disclosed.

During their stint at the operation post, the INASAR team made several search and rescue efforts, such as breaking concrete and conducting searches with sniffer dogs. The dog handler personnel looked for disaster victims with the help of a sniffer dog named Gizi.

The team, which had been stationed in Antakya since February 12, managed to evacuate the bodies of 15 earthquake victims. Two of the victims were Indonesian citizens whose bodies were found in Diyarbakir. The personnel devoted more than 100 hours to the total operation in Turkey.

The INASAR team, which consisted of 50 personnel and 3 SAR dogs, also received words of appreciation and gratitude from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday (February 20).

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Translator: Devi Nindy Sari R, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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