HH The Amir extends support to Turkey after devastating quake
A massive 7.8 Richter scale earthquake hit Turkey and Syria in the early hours of Monday morning, killing hundreds as they slept in their beds. The tremors tore down entire buildings and were felt as far away as Cyprus, Egypt and Iraq.
Responding to the tragic natural disaster, HH The Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani expressed his condolences to the Turkish people affected by the earthquake in a phone conversation with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to a statement from the Amiri Diwan.
During the call, Sheikh Tamim offered Qatar’s full support in helping the brotherly nation of Turkey alleviate the critical humanitarian crisis left in the wake of the earthquake. The Amir also wished the injured a speedy recovery.
سمو الأمير المفدى يجري اتصالًا هاتفيًا بأخيه فخامة الرئيس رجب طيب أردوغان رئيس الجمهورية التركية الشقيقة أعرب خلاله عن تعازيه ومواساته لفخامته وللشعب التركي الشقيق في ضحايا الزلزال الذي ضرب عدة محافظات جنوبي تركيا. https://t.co/hrDqPGs5Nj— الديوان الأميري (@AmiriDiwan) February 6, 2023
Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the country was sending its first resources to help Turkey, according to the directives of HH The Amir.
“The first flights of the air bridge are accompanied by a team from the Qatar International Search and Rescue Group of the Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya), equipped with specialised mechanisms for search and rescue operations, in addition to a field hospital, relief aid, tents and winter supplies,” it said in a tweet.
In Implementation of HH the Amir Directives, First Flights of Air Bridge from Qatar to Turkey Launches#MOFAQatar pic.twitter.com/hlJo0gaAyd— Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Qatar (@MofaQatar_EN) February 6, 2023
MOFA, in another tweet, said the country was sending 10,000 mobile homes to the quake-affected population of Syria and Turkey, as part of the relief package.
Qatar Provides 10,000 Mobile Homes As Part of Relief Efforts for #Quake-Affected People in #Syria, #Turkey#MOFAQatar pic.twitter.com/OSZFt1HJJm— Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Qatar (@MofaQatar_EN) February 6, 2023
Qatar Charity has also been collecting donations from people for relief work in the quake-affected areas. If you wish to donate to the cause, you can officially do so here.
The quake, Turkey’s largest in a century, wiped out entire sections of some major cities.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay confirmed at least 284 dead with over 2,300 injured. Meanwhile, search and rescue work are currently underway.
At least 245 people also died in parts of Syria. The quake struck at 4:17 am local time, at a depth of about 17.9 km near Gaziantep, home to around two million people, the US Geological Survey said.
#Earthquake 6 km SE of #Elbistan (#Turkey) 40 min ago (local time 13:24:49). Updated map - Colored dots represent local shaking & damage level reported by eyewitnesses. Share your experience:— EMSC (@LastQuake) February 6, 2023
Meanwhile, a second 7.5 magnitude quake hit Turkey, in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaras, less than 12 hours after the first one. The casualties from the second quake are not yet fully known.
Turkey reports a 7.5-magnitude earthquake in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaras — the second high-magnitude quake to hit the country in less than 12 hours https://t.co/HVPltga7UO via @BloombergTV pic.twitter.com/No5RDIBvFU— Bloomberg Middle East (@middleeast) February 6, 2023
Offers for aid and help have poured in from around the world, including USA, Russia, Italy and Greece.
The largest devastation seen near the quake’s epicentre, between Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep, saw entire city blocks were levelled into snow-covered rubble.
Kahramanmaras Governor Omer Faruk Coskun said it was still too early to estimate an accurate death toll because so many buildings were destroyed.
“It isn’t possible to give the number of dead and injured at the moment because so many buildings have been destroyed. The damage is serious,” Coskun said.
Turkey is situated on one of the world’s most active earthquake zones. The Turkish region of Duzce suffered a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in 1999, the worst to hit Turkey in decades, killing more than 17,000 people, including about 1,000 in Istanbul.
In 2020, a 6.8 magnitude quake hit Elazig in January 2020 taking the lives of over 40 people, with another earthquake in October of the same year along Turkey's Aegean coast killed 114 people and wounded over 1,000.
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