Israel helps victims of Turkey’s latest quake

JERUSALEM, Nov. 14 (JTA) — Israel has joined the international rescue effort battling the cold to reach survivors of the second devastating earthquake to strike Turkey in three months.

Over the weekend, Israel dispatched a 300-member rescue team to search for survivors. It also sent a medical team to set up a field hospital.

At least 374 died as a result of last Friday’s earthquake. Thousands are still missing.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said there were no reports of any missing Israelis.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee sent thousands of sleeping bags, blankets and other aid for the quake’s victims.

An Israel Defense Force official, Col. Shalom Ben Aryeh, told Israel Radio over the weekend that Israeli crews working in the city of Duzce had made contact with at least one survivor trapped in the rubble.

“There are dozens of collapsed buildings,” Ben Aryeh said.

He said that unlike the Aug. 17 earthquake, when Turkish authorities were criticized for responding slowly, the “Turkish army is helping us immensely.”

Despite the earthquake, Prime Minister Ehud Barak planned to take part in a security conference later this week in Istanbul that will bring together members of NATO and the former Warsaw Pact.

President Clinton was also scheduled to attend the conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

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