Quake death toll in Turkey and Syria passes 11,000, rescue work continues

Feb 8, 2023 | Headlines, News

The Canadian government said on Wednesday it would match donations up to $10 million to help rescue and recovery efforts after a deadly earthquake this week in Turkey and Syria.

“The people of Turkey and Syria need our help and I know Canadians are stepping up. We are too. Between Feb. 6 and 22 we are matching your donations to @RedCrossCanada’s Earthquake Turkey and Syria appeal up to $10 million,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a tweet on Wednesday.

The $10-million figure represents an “initial” response, as “Canada is currently conducting a ‘needs assessment’ to determine what the next steps should be,” said International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan as he left a cabinet meeting in Ottawa on Tuesday.

The earthquake, which hit on Monday morning, had a magnitude of 7.8 hitting southeast Turkey and Syria. Later that same day another 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck.

As of Wednesday, the death count had reached at least 11,000.

More than 100 aftershocks were recorded during the day and a half following the quake, including its highest aftershock at a magnitude of 7.5, as reported by CNN.

About 23 million people, including around 1.4 million children are likely to have been impacted, according to the World Health Organization.

Those affected are staying hopeful.

In one video posted by the BBC people changed “God is good” when a family of two adults and four children were pulled from rubble in Idlib, Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a three-month state of emergency in the country’s 10 southern provinces hit by the quake, Global News reported.

Rahul Singh, the executive director of the disaster relief charity GlobalMedic, which is based in Toronto said his group “is working on deploying two teams: one to find and rescue survivors out of debris, and another to help distribute essentials like makeshift-housing, toiletries, water and food,” Global News reported.

Istanbul’s stock exchange operator suspended trading for five days and announced that all trades that took place on Wednesday would be canceled because to the earthquake.

“Due to the increase in volatility and extraordinary price movements after the earthquake disaster, in order to ensure the reliable, transparent, efficient, stable, fair and competitive functioning of the markets, Equity Market and Equity & Index Derivatives in the Derivatives Market have been closed,” Borsa Istanbul, the Stock Exchange Operator, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Foundations like Unicef Canada and Doctors Without Borders are asking for donations to help the people of these countries. Canadians wishing to donate can go to their websites, where donations are being accepted.