Media statement for immediate release: Tuesday, 21 February 2023
Islamic Relief responds to two more earthquakes causing terror and panic in Türkiye
On Monday evening, February 20, earthquakes of 6.4 and 5.8 magnitude hit Turkey’s southern province of Hatay, causing panic and terrifying thousands of people just two weeks after the catastrophic quakes that killed over 45,000 people and counting.
Ahmed Mahmoud, Islamic Relief’s Head of Mission in Türkiye and Syria, says:
“Our teams on the ground felt the latest earthquake as they worked this evening. There is widespread panic, and the streets are full of people as families are leaving their homes feeling unsafe. There are reports of people jumping from shaking buildings in an attempt to escape and injuring themselves in the process. Many people will spend the night outside in the cold, with temperatures below zero.
“There are reports of more buildings collapsing. We are on the ground supporting hospitals and health facilities in Syria and Türkiye with medical supplies. People here have gone through unimaginable horror and suffering in the past few weeks and are now faced with sheer terror once again.”
Islamic Relief is responding and has provided emergency aid, including shelter, medical supplies, food, water, and hygiene kits, to more than 637,000 people in Türkiye and Syria since the first earthquakes struck on February 6. We have been collaborating with Türkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) on clearing rubble from roads in Türkiye and Syria so that more aid can get through, supplying hospitals with essential medicine and beds, supporting mobile clinics to provide targeted support for women and girls, and providing psychosocial support for children who have witnessed traumatic events.
Islamic Relief has been present in Türkiye since the early 2000s and responding to the Syrian crisis since 2011. Our teams on the ground have provided emergency relief and ongoing support to the affected people and communities in Türkiye and Syria. As the grim reality sets in, we will require the urgent assistance of our local donor community to meet the immediate and longer-term needs.
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For more information about the emergency, or to arrange an interview with our teams on the ground in Türkiye and Syria, please contact:
Junaid Rylands, Content creation coordinator, Islamic Relief South Africa, at
+27 83 854 2561 | Junaid.Rylands@islamic-relief.org.za
About Islamic Relief
Islamic Relief is a humanitarian aid and development organisation working towards transforming and uplifting some of the most destitute and vulnerable people and communities globally.
Islamic relief has a presence in 45 countries supporting and serving the needs of millions of people suffering across the globe. We work closely with communities to strengthen their resilience to calamities, provide vital emergency aid when disasters occur, improve access to services such as education, water and sanitation, and healthcare, and facilitate sustainable routes out of poverty.
The organisation’s integrated approach to progress is transforming communities worldwide by tackling the root causes of poverty and ensuring that the world’s most vulnerable people have a real influence in our programmes and advocacy work.