U.S. among worldwide effort to help after two earthquakes strike Turkey

By Mike Hayes and Jenny LescohierFebruary 07, 2023

Rescuers search for survivors under the rubble following an earthquake in Diyarbakir, Turkey (Photo: Reuters)

The world is responding after two huge earthquakes hit Turkey and northern Syria on Monday, killing more than 5,000 people and leveling some 3,500 buildings. 

The Turkish Contractors Association (TMB) has called for its members to mobilize their construction equipment and aid the rescue mission, following the devastation across two nations. 

Many more people are believed to be potentially trapped beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings across 10 affected Turkish provinces.

The first quake measured 7.8 in magnitude and was reportedly felt as far away as the UK. The second quake was almost as heavy, at magnitude 7.5.

U.S. and international community provide assistance

The international response to the disaster has been swift, with the U.S. pledging its immediate support.

“Our teams are deploying quickly to begin to support Turkish search and rescue efforts and address the needs of those injured and displaced by the earthquake, “ President Joe Biden said in a statement. “U.S.-supported humanitarian partners are also responding to the destruction in Syria.”

The European Union is sending rescue teams and individual nations, including France, Germany and the UK, are offering assitance.

Soon after news of the second earthquake emerged, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the number of victims would likely rise as much as eight times.

The WHO’s senior emergency officer for Europe, Catherine Smallwood, was quoted, “We always see the same thing with earthquakes, unfortunately, which is that the

Rescue teams search for survivors in Al Atareb, Syria, in the aftermath of the earthquakes (Photo: White Helmets via Reuters)

initial reports of the numbers of people who have died or who have been injured will increase quite significantly in the week that follows.”

In a statement, the TMB said, “We offer our condolences to the relatives of those who lost their lives in the earthquake and a speedy recovery to the injured. We convey our best wishes to all of Turkey.”

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