UK humanitarian charity Human Appeal has launched an emergency appeal on its website and deployed its team on the ground after the devasting earthquake that struck Turkey which is already being described as the worst to hit Turkey in the last century. The Human Appeal humanitarian aid workers are at the town of Gaziantep near to the epicentre of the devastating earthquake that struck the area of Kahramanmaraş close to the Turkish Syrian border.
The devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake knocked down multiple buildings in southeast Turkey and Northern Syria and more than 2,300 people injured as per initial reports. Local emergency services are focused on search and rescue efforts to find survivors under collapsed buildings. The death toll is expected to be in the thousands.
This deployment by Human Appeal will facilitate the assessment of emergency needs will provide to civilians impacted by the natural disaster in both Turkey and northern Syria and will initially focus on food, hygiene kits and basic medicine. The earthquake has coincided with a harsh winter storm that has swept the area with the hit hardest being the area between Turkey and northern Syria where millions of internally displaced civilians are located due to the Syrian conflict.
Dr. Ubeyd Sakin, Human Appeal’s Country Director for Turkiye said: ‘’This is the worst earthquake in the last century almost 2,000 buildings have collapsed, 1,000 people have lost their lives and many are severely injured. Unfortunately, this number is expected to rise. The disaster hit 10 of Turkiye’s Southern cities, where most of the Syrian refugees reside. There is urgent need for shelter, food and winter items such as blankets as temperatures in the area continue to drop.’’
Thousands of homes have been affected, and families are now living in temporary accommodation. Human Appeal is on the ground right now working in close coordination with the local authorities, monitoring the events and participating in the humanitarian efforts to provide vital assistance to affected families, who are in urgent need.
Across the border in northern Syria, Human Appeal’s Al Imaan hospital was also impacted by the earthquake with damage reported but the hospital is so far safe enough to continue operating to help the large number of men, women and children already internally displaced by the long-running conflict in Syria.
Several large earthquakes and tremors have followed the initial massive earthquake which is also hampering rescue and aid efforts.