Turkiye Earthquake 2023
On February 6, 2023, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake followed by a 7.5 major earthquake shook Southern Turkiye, followed by more than 10,000 aftershocks over the coming weeks. The initial earthquakes wreaked havoc across 11 provinces in Turkiye and parts of North Western Syria, an area the size of Germany where many cities incurred massive damage. For more than 2 weeks, local and international search and rescue crews worked around the clock in cold winter weather digging people out of the rubble of their destroyed homes. The death toll reached over 57,000 people and more than 115,000 were injured. More than 13.5 million people and 4 million buildings were affected by this disaster. More than 300,000 apartments have been destroyed leaving around 1.5 million people homeless.
Hidaya Foundation’s Relief Efforts:
For the past several years, Hidaya Foundation has been active in Southern Turkiye where the epicenter of these earthquakes are. It is a region that millions of Syrian refugees have settled.
Hidaya is actively working with our partners based in Turkiye and Syria on emergency relief. In initial weeks, cooked food, water, milk for babies, blankets, jackets and boots have been distributed to families camping outside in the cold due to losing their homes or fear of entering because of structural integrity and continuing aftershocks. Also a medical clinic was supported arranged in Idlib, Syria to treat the injured and sick. Currently dry ration food packages and other needed items are being given for affected families in both Turkiye and Syria throughout Ramadan.
There is much need for long term rehabilitation efforts for this disaster and the millions of people affected. Hidaya is in the planning phases for rehabilitation projects with our multiple partners to come up with good longer term solutions for as many families as we can to make best use of the funds given by donors.
Emergency In-Kind Collection Through Turkish Airlines (Drive Completed, No Longer Accepting In-Kind Items for Turkiye/Syria)
For the first week after the devastating earthquakes, the US Turkish Embassy and Consulates made a special arrangement with Turkish Airlines so certain select US Turkish organizations may coordinate in-kind collections as emergency in-kind assistance via flights from some airports. Being near San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Hidaya Foundation’s San Jose Warehouse served as one of 6 collection drop off point for the Diyanet Silicon Valley’s collection drive, and a hub for in coming collection drives from other communities. The Bay Area community responded generously and many local news channels covered the collection. From Hidaya’s warehouse, we have prepared over 500 boxes containing brand new and like new blankets, winter clothes, shoes/boots, tents, diapers, baby formula, feminine hygiene supplies, medicines and more which were delivered to SFO for flights to Turkiye.
After only a few days, the Consulates stopped taking any kind of clothing or 2nd hand donations and are daily narrowing the list to few new items only. We encourage donors to donate monetarily, as sending money to teams on the ground and buying in bulk makes much more sense financially and logistically.