CGTN correspondent Cen Ziyuan is accompanying Chinese team to Turkey

A Chinese rescue team is traveling to the site of Türkiye's earthquake to bolster the relief effort – and CGTN correspondent Cen Ziyuan is accompanying the mission, which left Beijing on a chartered aircraft overnight Tuesday.

The 82-member team consists of 50 members of the Beijing fire and rescue corps as well as others from the National Earthquake Response Support Service and the Emergency General Hospital in Beijing. It was dispatched by the Ministry of Emergency Management at the request of the Turkish government.

"We carry 13 tonnes of rescue equipment, including equipment for cutting concrete and steel bars, search and detection, and four rescue dogs, which can effectively help us carry out the mission," Bi Hongyi, head of the team, told the Xinhua news agency.

The death toll from the disaster has passed 5,000 with tens of thousands more in Türkiye and neighboring Syria left homeless in freezing winter conditions. 

Fu Jie, a member of the rescue team, said: "We have been preparing for the mission since Monday. We have collected information on the earthquake situation and rescue response from other countries, and have made urgent action plans."

A number of other non-governmental Chinese organizations have also sent teams to help support the relief and rescue operations.

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