Earthquake In Turkey: Britain sends rescue team to scene

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The Independent Online
COUNTRIES ACROSS the world, including Turkey's traditional enemy Greece, offered help yesterday after the devastating earthquake. The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, also said the organisation would do its utmost to coordinate relief efforts.

Britain will send rescue specialists to the area to help find survivors. The Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, who is standing in for Tony Blair, said: "We stand ready to offer assistance and have dispatched a team of search and rescue specialists to the region."

The 39 specialists have taken thermal imaging cameras, which detect body heat, and trapped person locators, which can detect the slightest body movement underground.

The Greek Prime Minister, Costas Simitis, sent a telegram to his Turkish counterpart, Bulent Ecevit, expressing condolences and offering assistance to victims.

A Greek military plane was due to leave for Turkey late yesterday and another plane was on stand-by to transport a special rescue unit experienced in handling such disasters.