Islamic Relief teams on the ground in southern Türkiye and northwest Syria report widespread panic and damage to buildings as two more strong 6.4 and 5.8 earthquakes hit the region this evening (Monday 20th February), just two weeks after the deadly earthquakes that have killed at least 47,000 people so far.
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 tonight and the streets are full of people as children and families are leaving their homes as they don’t feel safe. There are reports of people being injured as they jumped from shaking buildings to try and escape. Many people will now have to spend the night outside in the freezing cold with temperatures well below zero.
“In Syria, reception centres for homeless families are already massively overcrowded from the last earthquakes. There are two, three or even four families sharing single tents, with nothing to keep them warm. I saw one tent with 32 people sheltering in it, including 17 children, as there aren’t enough tents for everyone. We need more emergency aid on the ground as soon as possible.
“There are reports of more buildings collapsed and damaged tonight. We are getting reports of the latest damage and we are supporting hospitals and health facilities in Syria with medical supplies. People here have gone through unimaginable horror and suffering and now tonight they are faced with sheer terror once again.”
Islamic Relief has so far provided emergency aid including shelter, medical supplies, food and water to help more than 637,000 people in Türkiye and Syria since the first earthquakes struck on 6th February.
In the past few days in northern Syria, Islamic Relief has been clearing rubble from roads 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 basic psychosocial support for children who have witnessed extremely traumatic events.
In Türkiye Islamic Relief is distributing food parcels and hygiene items and providing vouchers for people to buy whatever they need most at local shops and supermarkets.