Operation TORRENT

August 24, 1999–September 25, 1999

At 3:02 a.m. on August 17, 1999, an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale struck northwestern Turkey, collapsing thousands of buildings and damaging much of the area's infrastructure. The Turkish government estimated that 15,765 people had been killed, 24,940 were injured, about 30,000 were missing, and more than 500,000 were homeless. As part of the international response to this disaster, the CF Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) deployed to Serdivan, Turkey, on August 24 to provide humanitarian assistance, focussing on medical aid and potable water. The DART ceased operations on September 25, and began returning home on September 28.

Major DART projects in Turkey included the following:

  • A medical aid station that treated more than 5,000 people, including 260 psychological casualties;
  • Three water purification units that produced more than 2.5 million litres of water, most of which was distributed by truck throughout the Serdivan and Adapazari areas; about 200,000 litres were distributed to the neediest people in one-litre sealed plastic bags;
  • A tented camp, complete with washrooms and shower facilities, that accommodated 2,500 people and could be converted to prefabricated shelters;
  • Washroom and shower facilities in other tented camps in the Serdivan area; and
  • Testing of about 50 local water sources, and monitoring of the city's water treatment plant, and four pumping stations and reservoirs in the Serdivan area.
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