The world was shocked by the powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Southeast Turkey and Northern Syria on Monday. The death toll is rising as thousands of people have been killed and thousands more have been injured. The international community has come together to offer their support and help in this time of need.
President Joe Biden has expressed his condolences to those affected and has offered the United States’ assistance if needed. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has also stated that the European Union is ready to offer support to Turkey. More than 40 countries have so far offered help, according to the President of Turkey’s Disaster Management Authority, Yunus Sezer.
Turkey’s minister of education has announced that schools throughout the country will be closed until February 13th.
Britain is sending 76 search-and-rescue specialists along with an emergency medical team to Turkey. The UK government has also said that it is in contact with the United Nations about getting support to victims in Syria. A number of other countries have joined the expanding international relief effort, including the United Arab Emirates, which will set up a field hospital in Turkey and Qatar, which is sending rescuers and emergency supplies. Russia is also sending assistance directly to Syria and has offered to send assistance to Turkey as well.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is playing a crucial role in the massive international effort to support Turkey and Syria and is in contact with Turkish authorities. Hans Kluge, the head of WHO in Europe, stated that regional offices of the United Nations agency in the eastern Mediterranean are assisting in the effort to swiftly transport medicine and relief equipment to quake-hit areas.
In the face of such a devastating disaster, the international community has come together to offer their support and help.