Aid agencies call for immediate support for those affected by 7.7 magnitude earthquake that struck Syria and TürkiyePublished: Feb 6, 2023 Reading time: 3 minutes
Over 100 aid organisations are calling for immediate and sustained international support to prevent further loss of life from the earthquake that has hit Syria and Türkiye today.
Humanitarian agencies are deploying emergency teams to conduct rapid assessments and provide immediate assistance where possible, by quickly mobilising available existing resources.
Urgent additional support and resources are required to scale up efforts in the coming hours and days, however.
The 7.7-magnitude earthquake that hit southern Türkiye and northern Syria in the early hours of Monday 6th February coupled with multiple aftershocks, has destroyed buildings, homes and infrastructure across a region that is home to millions of vulnerable people. Officials in the region estimate nearly 2,000 people have already lost their lives and thousands more are injured. These numbers are rising by the hour as reports of the devastation become clearer.
Many people still remain trapped in collapsed buildings and the destruction of electricity and communication networks is hampering relief efforts. First responders – the majority of them Syrian and Turkish – are deployed and working at personal risk to locate and save those trapped and injured by the earthquake, offering basic services to those in need. As they respond, freezing temperatures and dire weather conditions have been affecting both responders and those caught up by the crisis. It is critical that international efforts work with the national actors and local aid groups already responding to quickly get assistance to those in need.
Inside Syria, people across all parts of the country are suffering from the effects of 12 years of conflict, and millions of people in the earthquake-affected areas already depend on life-saving humanitarian assistance to meet their basic survival needs – with women and children most severely affected. Today’s devastation heaps further suffering on the millions living in displacement, many in camps, makeshift shelters and unsafe buildings without sufficient access to basic water, health or electricity services. Immediate help with advanced equipment and manpower is needed to keep the rescue work going, as many people are still reported to be buried under the rubble.
The humanitarian community stands in solidarity with those who have lost colleagues and loved ones and to those still living in uncertainty, and extends its deepest sympathies to the families of those affected.
Humanitarian organisations call on the entire international community to scale up efforts and immediately continue the deployment of additional vitally needed resources, funding, and assistance into Syria and affected countries in the region.