Quake aid to Turkey and Syria
February 7, 2023 - Governments and aid groups have rushed to dispatch personnel, funds and equipment to help the rescue efforts in quake-stricken areas of Turkey and Syria.
Search teams and emergency aid from around the world poured into Turkey and Syria as rescue teams in freezing temperatures dug through the remains of buildings flattened by Monday’s (February 6, 2023) magnitude 7.8 earthquake. The death toll has now risen above 5,000.
Rescuers pulled more than 8,000 people from the debris in Turkey alone, and some 380,000 have taken refuge in government shelters.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that 45 countries had offered help with search and rescue efforts. President Erdogan declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces and said 13 million of the country’s 85 million population were affected.
Sebastien Gay, the head of mission in the country for Doctors Without Borders in northern Syria, said health facilities are overwhelmed with medical personnel working “around the clock to respond to the huge numbers of wounded.”
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the federal government would commit an initial $10 million in humanitarian aid to Syria and Turkey. It will provide $7 million in assistance to Turkey, while Syria will receive $3 million through UNICEF.
“Like all of the world, [our] thoughts and condolences are with the people in this region who are suffering at this time,” Prime Minister Albanese told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
South Korea has pledged $1 million in aid, While New Zealand, China and the Italian Roman Catholic Church have collectively allocated $1.9 million for emergency aid.