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Continuing its SAR operations in Van Erciş earthquake occurred on October 23, GEA Team performed activities in 8 villages of Van on November 8-9, for people and children affected from the earthquake; and distributed tents, shoes, coats, berets, socks and radios within the area.

Our Team, comprising of 30 people and continuing its aid activities within the region at the time being, started intervening the collapses and debris immediately after the occurrence of the earthquake with a magnitude of 5.6 and epicenter on EdremitcountyofVanon the evening of November 9.

Another fully equipped GEA Team of 14 people also arrived in the region at 02:00AM, with the special aircraft departed fromAtatürkAirportwith the instructions of Disaster and Emergency management Department (AFAD) of Turkish Prime Ministry.

GEA Team rescued one person out of Bayram Hotel debris 30 minutes after the earthquake, another 60 year-old person at 00:30AM and a female at 02:33, as a result of the operations conducted with civil defense teams.

18 hours after the earthquake, at 15:40PM on November 10, our Team rescued another hotel employee around 35 years old and continued its SAR operations with 44 people for 18 hours.

Following the rescue operations, the Team installed 84 tents for 504 citizens who tried to survive at -7ºC temperature out in the open.

We would like to thank and express our gratitude to:

GEA Van Branch members, who participated in SAR operations right after the subsequent earthquakes occurred in Van, despite they themselves and their families were victims indeed;

all GEA members and volunteers, immediately taking action from all over Turkey;

all families who provided their support in full emotional strength;

media institutions providing information from the region in short times;

AFAD, helping our Teams to arrive in the region a.s.a.p; and

all GEA FRIENDS, names of whom we can never fit in here, who have supported sincerely our operations since 1994…


October 23-31, 2011, Van Earthquake with 7.3 Magnitude

Following the earthquake occurred on October 23 at 13:41PM in the city ofVanwith a magnitude of 7.3, GEA SAR Teams, comprising of 53 people from the cities of Van,Istanbul,Ankara,Eskişehir, İzmit, İzmir and 1 K9 search dog arrived in the disaster area.

All teams started preparations upon receipt of earthquake notice.  Mobilized immediately and initiated operations at the debris 30 minutes after the earthquake, GEA Van Team rescued 3 female and 1 child victims in Alaköy at 14:50PM.  The Team also collaborated with civil defense teams during rescue of 2 female, 1 male and 1 child victims from the debris of a building in near vicinity ofHüsrevpaşaPrimary Schoolwithin Van city center in Cumhuriyet district.

GEA Ankara Team of 13 people arrived in the disaster region at 19:00PM, on a special aircraft allocated by AFAD for SAR teams and departed fromEsenboğaAirport.

GEA Istanbul Team, including 15 people and 1 K9 dog, arrived in the region at 22:30PM with a special aircraft departed fromAtatürkAirport. (Departure of specifically assigned aircrafts allowed for a faster access to disaster victims.  We thank AFAD for their rapid actions.)

And other GEA Teams from Eshişehir (4 people) and İzmir (5 people), again with special aircraft, arrived at 00:00AM and participated in the operations.

Comprising of a total of 53 people, GEA Team started its SAR operation at 00:40, in the debris of a 6-floor collapsed building of Club Saçı Beyaz, located onAlkanat Streetin Erciş County of Van.  In the first round, the Team rescued 9 people from this debris.

During the ongoing operations through October 24-25, 8 more people were rescued from the same building with the operations performed at different points of the debris.

Medical interventions to the rescued disaster victims were successfully made by GEA Team physicians and UMKE teams and these people were taken to hospitals.

GEA Team collaborated with Civil Defense (AFAD), LIDAM, Turkish Hardcoal Institution and Humanitarian Relief Fund for rescue of 3 victims.

GEA Team succeeded to rescue 24 victims trapped under debris during the SAR operations in Van and continued its efforts without interruption during the operation lasted for 72 hours.  At the end of the 3rd day, a group of 25 people conducted activities in Erciş center and near villages to determine the needs of people affected from the earthquake.

Within the humanitarian aid activities lasted for 5 days, our volunteers visited 11 villages and 7 districts in Erciş county center, and determined the needs of families individually to ensure an efficient distribution of the aid materials.

At the end of these determinations, 35 tons of food products, 6 tons of hygiene materials and 640 thick blankets were distributed to 460 families and 3,750 people, and support was provided for installation of tents distributed throughout the villages.

As GEA Volunteers, supporting the survival of our citizens we had rescued during our SAR operations is very valuable to us.  We are sending our love from here to all our contributing friends.

We would like to thank and express our gratitude to all our friends supporting us during GEA Search & Rescue and Humanitarian Aid Operations for Van Earthquake.

  • AFAD
  • 3M
  • Atmaca Elektronik
  • Attucho -Hitaş
  • BKM A.Ş.
  • Bosch
  • BP
  • Ceva Logistics
  • Eczacıbaşı
  • Ebru Demirel
  • El Corte Inglés
  • Eyüboğlu
  • Fatih Oflaz
  • Global Bilgi
  • Hilti
  • Holmatro
  • IBM
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Macera Akademisi
  • Marks&Spencer
  • Marsan Gıda – Saka Su
  • Medya Takip Merkezi
  • Microsoft
  • NAB Holding
  • Nielsen Araştırma Hizmetleri
  • P&G Duracell
  • Plato Finansal Danısmanlık
  • SonyEurasia
  • Stok Sınai Mülkiyet Hizmetleri
  • Sun Express
  • TESA Bant
  • Vodafone
  • Xerox
  • Zimak Makina

Our fellows providing logistics support during our SAR operations:

  • Gökçenay İnşaat
  • Kipaş AVM
  • Özlem Parke
  • Sütçü Fevzi
  • Van Special Provincial Administration
  • Van Highway Authority, Region 11


We kindly request our friends to inform us, who had provided support for the operation but are not included in the above list.  We might have missed some significant details under such intensive workload.