IZMIR, Turkey

In the wake of Friday’s earthquake in Turkey’s Aegean region, 10 heroic dogs from across the country descended into the rubble, sniffing out survivors and saving lives.  

Search and rescue operations are still going on days after the magnitude 6.6 quake struck.

Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and the country’s other search and rescue institutions, municipalities and non-governmental organizations have been racing against time to reach more people and save more lives.

Kerem Isik, a senior master-sergeant in the gendarmerie forces, told Anadolu Agency that these search and rescue dogs are actively being used.

“They identified three people under the rubble, led the search and rescue units to them and helped recover five corpses so far,” said Isik.

“As soon as they find someone alive, they inform their trainers by barking. On identifying a corpse, they paw and show the ground.”

“They started getting trained when they were just six months old and continue their training as long as they serve our institution. They are essential for us,” he said.

The death toll in Turkey from the powerful earthquake has risen to 98, while 994 people are injured.

Turkey, situated on several active fault lines, is among the world’s most seismically active zones. It has suffered devastating earthquakes in previous years, including the 1999 Marmara earthquake.

*Writing by Merve Berker

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