At 4:17 AM local time on February 6, 2023, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake with a depth of 24 km struck the Pazarcik District of Kahramanmaraş Province in south-central Turkey, and significant aftershocks were felt throughout the region, including another large, 7.5 magnitude quake in southeastern Turkey just 11 minutes later.
In the 10 days since the earthquake, Turkish authorities report over 35,000 fatalities, and the death toll in Syria is nearly 6,000. Sadly, these numbers will continue to increase as search and rescue efforts come to a close. Survivors have been left homeless, many having only what they were wearing when they fled outside during the quake. Shelter, food, clothing, and medical treatment have been immediate needs identified by Turkish and Syrian officials. The situation is further complicated in Syria by the decade-long civil war that is hindering relief efforts and access to the affected areas.
Global Disaster Response and Humanitarian Action (GDRHA) has been communicating with partner organizations on the ground assessing needs and navigating access and permissions to be able to operate in both countries. Our team has been working to fill identified needs as they arise, but we have yet to receive an official request to deploy a larger team at this time. We will update this space as we learn more about how GDRHA may assist our partners working tirelessly on the ground in Turkey and Syria in the coming days and weeks.
We also extend our thoughts to our Turkish and Syrian colleagues and their families at Mass General Brigham. If you like to contribute to response efforts, we encourage you to consider the following organizations:
Turkey Mozaik Foundation is a grant-giving organization that has established the Kahramanmaras Earthquake Emergency Relief Fund to disperse donations directly to local partners providing food, water, shelter, and hygiene supplies.
Bridge to Turkiye Fund (BTF) has set up an earthquake relief fund to provide immediate assistance in 3 phases: 1) provide food, water, and warmth, 2) provide immediate assistance for sheltering, 3) provide well-being for children’s health and education. BTF is currently partnering locally with the AHBAP Association, a well-known, well-run, reputable, and trusted grassroots organization in Turkey to ensure 100% of the funds collected by BTF for earthquake relief will be disbursed to AHBAP and other local worthy partners.
Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) plans and coordinates post-disaster response, including search and rescue, and promotes cooperation among various government agencies.
AKUT Search & Rescue Association is an entirely voluntary, non-governmental organization involved in searching, assisting and rescuing all who require aid within its authority and means.
The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) is on the ground and receiving victims of the quake across their operational facilities in Turkey and Syria.
The White Helmets, or Syrian Civil Defense, are performing search and rescue operations and administering urgent medical care to victims in Syria.
International Medical Corps (IMC) has staff based in Syria, where they have been supporting refugees and vulnerable populations and is currently coordinating closely with local teams and mobilizing to respond.
Direct Relief equips response teams and local partners to rapidly respond, ensuring the most efficient use of resources.
Global Response Medicine has been working in Syria providing medical aid, assessment, and capacity building.