Turkey Earthquake Relief

Anything for A Smile Earthquake Response

As we all are painfully aware, Turkey and Syria experienced multiple earthquakes on February 6th and then again on February 20th, which resulted in varying degrees of devastation in over ten large cities, as well as numerous smaller towns and villages. The wreckage was beyond imagination! Whole towns and villages were completely destroyed!

This was the beginning of an ongoing tragedy for well over a million people whose homes and security was ripped away in a matter of seconds with the first earthquake that erupted at 4:17a.m. on February 6, 2023, soon followed by a major aftershock 10 minutes later that sent more buildings crashing to the ground.

Soon after the early morning earthquakes we decided to load our cars with blankets, food, and other items and head to Iskenderun, a port city on the eastern Mediterranean, which we had heard was badly damaged. We were not prepared for what we were about to see in Iskenderun: dark smoke hung over the city from the massive fire burning at the port. Damaged, toppled, and pancaked buildings were everywhere. Some people were dazed, walking around like zombies, stupefied. The streets that you could normally maneuver on sometimes took an hour to cross, as those who were fortunate to survive the earthquake and who had a car were fleeing the city. We distributed our aid at a school in Iskenderun where scores of Turks and Syrians were camped out in the open schoolyard. Our carload of supplies was insufficient for this large group, but we gave what we had to the mothers, the babies and small children, and the elderly.

While there, a Syrian woman told us that this experience is worse than the war that they had lived through. The earthquake happened suddenly with so much damage and destruction in one moment, whereas the Russian and Syrian jets would only destroy a few buildings at a time, and never in ten cities and many towns all at once.

Over the next days, we rented a small truck and loaded it with blankets, sleeping mats, bread, cheese, olives, and water for the earthquake victims of another hard- hit city, Antakya / Antioch.

We continued to deliver needed supplies for the three months, and as of now have distributed 25 truckloads of food and aid, containing over 3000 food boxes, 500 mattresses, 1500 hygienic packs, boxes of women under garments and other necessities.

Thank you for working with us to make a difference in the lives of these many earthquake victims. There are over a million and a half people who are homeless in this region alone and they are so thankful for whatever aid you send them.

You can follow our earthquake relief work and other projects on Facebook.

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15-06-2023
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