Letter of Support


Fellow Brothers and Sisters

It was dawn, buildings crumbled like fragile paper, the roads lost their forms, the silence of pain and suffering filled the cities of the affected countries in our region, and the people stood still not knowing what happened. On the 6th of February, a tragedy occupied our hearts and minds! We felt an obligation for the cries of the children and for the agony of the mothers, to act now. People in Turkey, Syria, and other countries of the region are in dire need for supplies, support, and help. The cries for hope prevailed within minutes and it is getting louder, day by day. There is no doubt that not only the quake-struck those two countries, but the entire world is also shocked and deeply saddened by the barrage of terrifying earthquakes on 6 February 2023, two of which reaching the magnitudes of 7.6 and 7.7 on the Richter scale. The earthquakes that hook the two countries were numerous, at least 243 of them, as AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Center in Turkey) reports.

However, the initial quakes with a lot more power and length are the ones that really devastated the homes of many, leading to unprecedented casualties. The quakes originated from the city of Kahramanmaras in Turkey, the first of them shaking the city and the neighboring region at 4:17 am with a magnitude of 7.7, caught its victims off guard in the early hours of the day. It is reported that the two massive consecutive quakes shook 10 cities in the southeast of Turkiye and northwest of Syria, an area that spans approximately 500 kilometers in diameter. According to the latest information from AFAD, the total casualties in Turkiye rose to beyond 30,000 and this number seems only to grow as more rubble will be cleared up to reveal casualties that are yet to be accounted for.

Regarding Syria, the picture for the country is no brighter than that of Turkey. In Syria, primarily the city of Aleppo was detrimentally affected by the quake in Kahramanmaras. For Syria, the death toll of the quake has climbed to over 3,500 – currently 2,168 in rebel-held areas and 1,408 in the government-controlled zones. BBC correspondent Quentin Sommerville reports about 700 homes collapsed in the town of Harem in Idlib in Syria and more than 2,000 homes became unsafe to inhabit. Quentin further reports Syria received almost no international aid, worsening the situations for the victims that survived.

If you are wondering why this series of earthquakes with the epicenter of Kahramanmaras were so devastating when compared to some others of similar magnitude in different parts of the world, English geophysicist David Rothery explains not only the magnitude but also the depth of the earthquake plays an important role in determining the destructive power of it. In short, since earthquakes are formed by the movement of the plates that form the crust of our planet, the closer to the surface of earth the quake occurs, the more devastating it becomes. A Turkish geologist, Hasan Sozbilir, adds that an earthquake was expected because the fault line that joins the Anatolian and Arabian plates have been loading up with tension for about 500 years.

We cannot but send our deepest condolences and prayers to all those who suffered this devastating earthquake. Amid this catastrophe, we ought to stand side by side to overcome its consequences. We have to be there for others, support them emotionally, psychologically, mentally, physically, and financially. During such hard times, a human is a human, a victim is a victim; we have to disregard all differences and unite for disaster relief purposes. As people of action, we are more than ready to help in any way possible, so that all people in our region can get the support that they need. Therefore, let us all unite against this natural disaster and send a message that humanity has no race, religion, ethnicity, or ideology.

What can you do?

-Donation calls from embassies

-Projects focusing on the current preliminary intervention

-Projects focusing on the aftermath

– Which organizations are more reliable

– Rotaract/Rotary donation calls

– Rotaract projects focusing on logistics

– Rotaract projects focusing on shelter

– Projects focusing on healthcare / hygiene

– Projects focusing on education

– Projects focusing on families / women / children

– Projects focusing on the people with disabilities

– Projects focusing on rebuilding historical artifacts

– Projects focusing on mental health (grief, trauma seminars)

– Projects focusing on animals

– Fundraising + Regional Events Contributing to Fundraising

– Awareness Seminars

– Field Projects

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