The Effects of the Turkey/Syria Earthquake and How You Can Help

Turkey earthquake 2023 montage

On February 6, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria leaving thousands of residents homeless, injured, and killed. It occurred mostly in the city of Antayka, located on the far south side of Turkey, nearing Syria’s border. The earthquake ensued just before dawn when most of the city wasn’t awake. The immediate shock was so intense that it caused buildings to collapse and unfathomable damage in only minutes. Due to the fact that this area is very populated, the rubble and debris from the earthquake trapped countless people hundreds of feet deep. The rescues promptly started minutes after the earthquake ceased.

Rescuing trapped civilians has taken a great toll on the community and the workers tirelessly rummaging through debris. Not only is it physically draining, but it is also emotionally draining as well. Numerous news articles are being published each day with the grueling stories of people being found after being trapped for 200 or more hours. This amounts to over a week total spent under the rubble with critical injuries along with no food or water. However, among the 8,000 saved, the death toll for the natural disaster is incomparable. As of February 21, the amount of deaths caused by the earthquake has reached its peak of 46,000. To put this into perspective, the population of Antayka is approximately 400,000, meaning that over 10 percent of the population has been killed. It is unclear to tell how many deaths the earthquake will cause between the over 200 aftershocks following the initial earthquake and the second 6.3 magnitude earthquake that occurred on Feb. 21. The second earthquake has already accumulated three deaths and survivors are still being searched for. The recovery period for this disaster will likely take longer than anyone could have expected.

Although other countries were not directly affected by the earthquake, people around the world are trying to help the victims in Tukey. Programs such as The American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and GoFund Me have all created donation sites and a hotline for any out-of-country family members or relatives attempting to locate the status of their loved ones. These organizations are extremely important because there is a tremendous lack of help available to those in need in Turkey and Syria and so many resources are not provided. For example, the American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders have sent medical professionals and search and rescue volunteers for more hands in order to save and aid survivors. The website, GoFund Me, is an easy way for anyone to help support those affected by the earthquake. When natural disasters of this extent happen, people can feel as though they are unable to help even if they’d like to. Donating to nonprofit organizations through GoFund Me allows anyone from any country to pitch in. There are multiple links found on the website in order to donate to different needs. These consist of rescue, food and water, and support in general.

Heidi Maurer, a teacher at Pennridge Highschool, says that she is looking to donate, “I have seen a lot of different donation sites set up for the Turkey and Syria earthquake and I would donate to help.” Donating is extremely important when it comes to the economy of the country following this event. The cost of search, rescue, and cleaning will cost the city and countries close to millions of dollars. Maurer continues to explain, “Turkey will definitely face an economic downfall, especially when it comes to rebuilding. I have heard that they have already raised thousands of dollars since the day it happened which will hopefully help.” In total, Turkey and Syria have already raised close to $6 million through fundraisers and donations. However, this doesn’t mean that there is no need to continue to donate. Brandon Concannon has donated to multiple donation sites and feels that the support won’t be settling for a while, “I have donated on GoFund Me and other sites and I know so many others have too. People are always very empathetic when it comes to things like this and I doubt the donations will stop soon.”

Money isn’t the only thing that you can donate. The IBC, The International Blue Crescent Relief, and Development Foundation have set up donation addresses in order for goods to be sent directly to Turkey and Syria. The foundation has made a list that consists of the immediate needs of the personnel in Turkey whether it’s the survivors or rescuers. The list includes tents, heaters for tents, thousands of blankets, thermal clothing, ready-to-eat food, and basic first-aid kits. The website also lists specific types of foods that are preferred such as canned or pre-packed foods. The earthquakes in Turkey and Syria have upset the whole world and the catastrophic effects have caused great grief. Although Americans are not directly affected by the earthquake, it is important to help by donating to aid rescuers and the survivors of this natural disaster.