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Jamie McIvor reports
"They come from across Scotland and are all highly trained"
 real 56k

Saturday, 27 January, 2001, 18:59 GMT
Scots aid Indian quake victims
India
The earthquake hit western India
A group of Scottish volunteers has left for India to help in the rescue operation after Friday's devastating earthquake.

The 17 volunteers from the International Rescue Corps, based in Grangemouth, are part of a 69-strong British team which set off for India on Saturday morning.

The volunteers come from across Scotland and are all highly trained and experienced in dealing with the aftermath of catastrophes.

It is feared 10,000 people may have died in the quake, which was centred on the western state of Gujarat.

David Dawson
Rescue worker, David Dawson
The volunteer rescuers know there is little time left to find survivors, but they believe their skills and specialist equipment will prove invaluable to the Indian authorities.

Team member David Dawson said the volunteers would be relying heavily on advice from local people when trying to locate and rescue victims of the earthquake.

"When we get out there we will make contact with the authorities and they will tell us where they want us to go and search," he said.

"We'll have reports from the locals on where they believe people are trapped and hopefully still alive.

British links

"Then we'll use our equipment, our expertise and our knowledge to try and locate these people."

Many people in Gujarat have British links and the Indian Consul in Edinburgh thinks it is likely there are Scots who have friends or relatives affected by the disaster.

Shashishekhar Gavai, Consul General for India in Scotland said: "Various Indian associations have come together to raise funds to send to India".

Scotland's 15,000-strong Indian community has already started to collect cash and material aid to those affected by the earthquake.

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See also:

26 Jan 01 | South Asia
Hundreds killed in India quake
26 Jan 01 | South Asia
In pictures: India quake
31 Mar 99 | South Asia
Quake death toll over 100
14 Jan 01 | World
Deadly history of earthquakes
30 Mar 99 | Medical notes
Analysis: Natural disasters
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