Statement on earthquake in Turkey and Syria

The devastating earthquake across southern Turkey and Northern Syria on early Monday morning has so far killed 5,000 people with a further 20,000 estimated to be wounded and an additional unknown number of people who may still be under trapped under rubble after thousands of buildings collapsed.

We cannot imagine the terror and grief that this sudden natural disaster will have caused.  

We are grateful for the international aid that is both already on the ground and also being galvanised, including from teams in the UK – and our hearts are with all of those impacted and with those helping with the rescues. We are additionally concerned for those in Syria where the border remains tightly controlled, there is no international rescue effort and access may prove difficult.  This is an area already devasted by conflict, poverty and a recent cholera outbreak.  

BBC reports say that many of those on the border had ‘been living in temporary shelters and half-finished buildings for years, refugees in their own country.  For so many people who are already living through such turbulent and terrifying times this is one more horrifying trauma that will have lasting impact. 

We hope that despite the damaged infrastructure, adverse weather conditions and political climate that humanity will prevail, and we can globally pull together to rescue as many people as possible and bring them to shelter and safety. 

References 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/64533954

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/feb/07/syria-earthquake-aftermath-why-is-situation-so-bad-in-war-ravaged-country-aleppo-idlib