Turkey Earthquake 2011
On October 23, 2011, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Eastern Turkey, killing hundreds, injuring thousands, and leveling dozens of multistory buildings. Of the remaining buildings throughout the city, around 70% of them (hundreds) have received heavy structural damage making them unsafe to live in, and forcing hundreds of thousands to become homeless. These buildings are currently being torn down one by one to be rebuilt over the coming years.
Due to the harsh winter of the area, the majority of Van’s residents left to go live in other cities with relatives etc. Only about 25 -30% of people were able to remain in their normal homes, and the remaining thousands of inhabitants who stayed spent the beginning part of the winter in Tents provided by local NGOs. Because of trying to stay warm from the extreme cold and snow, there were many tent fires that killed dozens of people by the time government and local non-profit agencies built container cities for Van residents to move into temporarily (over the next coming years while their homes are being rebuilt).
Hidaya Foundation’s Relief Efforts:
One of Hidaya’s team members, working with a local partner organization distributed cash aid to 56 families of orphans and widows (279 individuals). The aid was given according to the number of members in the family and ages of the orphans. 100 Turkish Lira (TL) was given for each orphan under 13 years old, 125 TL for each orphan over 13 years old, and 200 TL for each widow.
The recipients were overjoyed to receive this aid in their time of need and showered the donors with du’a (prayers). For most of them, this was the first cash assistance they have received since the earthquake, while most of the aid has been of food supplies and tents, if anything.