The devastating Magnitude 7.5 earthquake that jolted the Turkey and Syria on Monday, February 6 has left a path of destruction in its wake, with the death toll continuing to rise to an unprecedented 21,000 and counting. As the first UN aid arrived in the rebel-held zones of Syria, the bitter cold and freezing temperatures have added to the difficulties faced by those trying to rescue survivors and provide assistance to those affected.

Credits to Ozan Kose / AFP

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that its head, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is on his way to Syria to support the essential health care services in the affected areas. The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has called for unity in response to the disaster and has urged the Security Council to authorise the opening of new cross-border humanitarian aid points between Turkey and Syria.

The massive earthquake, which struck the region early Monday as people slept, has left families scouring body bags laid out in a hospital car park in Antakya in search of their missing loved ones. Despite the difficulties, thousands of local and foreign searchers have not given up the hunt for more survivors, and donor nations, including China and the United States, have pledged to help.

The intense cold has forced rescuers to weigh their limited fuel supplies between keeping themselves warm and carrying out their rescue work. Many families have spent the nights in cars or makeshift tents, too scared or banned from returning to their homes. The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has acknowledged “shortcomings” in the government’s handling of the disaster, which has led to anger among those affected.

The World Bank has pledged $1.78 billion in aid to support the relief efforts, while the UN has warned that the number of casualties is likely to rise sharply. The earthquake is the largest to hit Turkey since 1939, when 33,000 people died in the eastern Erzincan province.

The situation remains dire and the world is now racing against the clock to provide aid, rescue survivors and support those affected by this catastrophic earthquake that has left a path of destruction and death in its wake.

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In these dire circumstances, it’s imperative that we come together to offer support to those affected by the disaster. With survivors facing freezing temperatures and limited access to shelter, food and water, your help can make all the difference. Here’s how you can help:

  • Donate: Make a financial contribution to trusted humanitarian organizations working on the ground in Turkey and Syria to provide aid and support to the survivors.
  • Spread Awareness: Share this news story with your friends and family to raise awareness about the devastating earthquake and the critical need for aid.
  • Advocate: Urge your elected officials to prioritize funding for disaster relief efforts in Turkey and Syria and support the opening of new cross-border humanitarian aid points between Turkey and Syria.
  • Volunteer: If you are able to travel to the affected area, consider volunteering with organizations on the ground to provide direct assistance to those in need.

Let’s come together to support the survivors of this devastating earthquake and show them that they are not alone. Every little bit counts, and every act of kindness can bring hope to those in need.