TORONTO, February 6, 2023- A massive earthquake with a 7.8 Richter Scale hit South Turkey early in the morning of 3.10 am, centered in Kahramanmaras and affecting a 400 km radius, including the major cities of Gaziantep, Adana, Hatay, Malatya, Kilis, Diyarbakir, and Adiyaman, where approximately 12 million people, including 2 million Syrian refugees, reside. The earthquake also impacted North Syria’s Aleppo and Idlib.
The earthquake caused widespread devastation, with thousands of buildings collapsing, including two hospitals in Malatya and Hatay. Hotels were also severely damaged. The Turkish Interior Minister has issued a call for international assistance and has mobilized state emergency teams to prioritize the rescue of tens of thousands of people trapped under collapsed buildings. Heavy snow and rain in the region are making it even more difficult for those who have lost their homes to survive.
The International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF) has been working in Turkey for over 24 years, starting with the 1999 Izmit earthquake emergency response and work with many trusted local partners to implement sustainable development projects for Syrian refugees and host Turkish communities. IDRF’s local teams are currently in the field in Kilis, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, and Sanliurfa, assisting the local authorities in their emergency rescue efforts. The organization has received thousands of calls from people trapped under the ruins, and people are also reaching out through social media for immediate rescue. However, state rescue teams are facing difficulties as many of their members have lost family members or properties, resulting in a poor response.
The organization’s urgent needs include tens of thousands of tents, heaters, blankets, thermal clothes, ready-to-eat food for at least 5,000 people for a period of time, and basic first-aid kits.
IDRF is committed to providing assistance to those affected by the earthquake and calls on the international community to support its efforts.
People wishing to donate to IDRF’s relief efforts can do on the IDRF website at https://idrf.ca/earthquake or call 416 497 0818 x 524.
Media seeking more information, interviews or photos should contact:
Zeina Osman: Director of Giving & Impact
Mobile: 416-497-0818 x 504