Response Updates

Relief Distributions Underway After Turkey & Syria Earthquakes

Turkey Reported by Convoy of Hope

March 31, 2023 | 10:06 a.m.

Convoy of Hope is responding to the multiple earthquakes that have killed more than 57,000 people in Turkey and Syria and leveled more than 600,000 buildings across the region. So far, Convoy has distributed more than 650,000 meals in 32 communities. Along with food and water, an additional 3,800 hygiene kits, 6,500 pounds of clothing, 5,000 diapers, and nearly 4,000 blankets have also been given to those in need.

Convoy’s team members continue to hear harrowing stories of survival from those in the impact zone, including the one below.

Convoy is delivering hope and aid to those in Turkey and Syria who still desperately need help. Thank you for standing with them, even two months after the tragic earthquakes.

March 24, 2023 | 9:45 a.m.

The pain and fear of survivors — following the earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria earlier this year — is immeasurable. Convoy of Hope recently interacted with a large family headed by grandparents nearing 80 years old. Their kids have families of their own. Each family unit lost a son, daughter, spouse, or someone they loved. Around 30 of them survived.

Each family had their own house, but all were destroyed by the quake. They lost everything, besides the clothes on their backs. Forced to flee to another city for suitable shelter, they abandoned everything they had ever known.

The family gathered their remaining money together — just enough to afford an unfurnished apartment. Housing prices are skyrocketing due to the demand. Thirty people in this family are now all living in the same small apartment, sleeping on the cold, hard tile floor. Their situation seemed completely hopeless. 

But Convoy of Hope heard about their situation and responded. Convoy provided clothing, food, pillows, blankets, and other basic necessities to ease their burden — helping them survive the months to come.

“The family lost siblings, cousins, parents, possessions — and they had lost hope. But by responding to meet even the small needs they had, it began the journey of restoring hope,” said Convoy’s Chris Vines.

There are still so many needs to be met for survivors in the impact zone. Convoy of Hope will continue to distribute needed supplies, bringing them certain hope in a future full of uncertainty.

March 15, 2023 | 1:49 p.m.

Two provinces affected by the recent earthquakes in Turkey are now experiencing catastrophic flooding. AP News reports at least 14 casualties. The flooding has compounded the already desperate situation for thousands of people.

The video above from one of Convoy of Hope’s contacts shows torrential floodwaters tearing through city streets in Turkey.

Cars are being swept away as streets turn into rivers, and campsites are drenched. After being forced to evacuate their homes earlier this year due to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the region in February, survivors are being displaced again.

Photo above: People are rescued during floods after heavy rains in Sanliurfa, Turkey, Wednesday, March 15, 2023. Floods caused by torrential rains hit two provinces that were devastated by last month’s earthquake, killing at least 10 people and increasing the misery for thousands who were left homeless, officials and media reports said Wednesday. At least five other people were reported missing. (Hakan Akgun/DIA via AP)

Convoy of Hope is on the ground and working to help as Turkish people are reeling from a second disaster. The situation is desperate and unprecedented, but Convoy remains committed to providing support, supplies, and hope to devastated people.

March 3, 2023 | 9:40 a.m.

Aftershocks continue to rock the impact zone in Turkey and Syria, causing more buildings to collapse and keeping tensions high. Many families are congregating in makeshift camps and living in extremely difficult conditions.

Hygiene supplies may not be something most people think of as a necessity during times of disaster, but when disaster strikes, there is limited to no access to clean water and essential hygiene supplies. Good hygiene is critical in preventing the spread of infectious diseases, which would further compound an already desperate situation for families left vulnerable by the earthquakes.

Convoy of Hope is distributing hygiene products and diapers to ensure families have one less thing to worry about amid a time of many unknowns. With the hygiene products Convoy distributes, people can keep their hands and body clean, brush their teeth, and take care of their hair. This lessens the possibility of disease spreading through already vulnerable communities and helps people maintain their dignity and morale.

Food kits are also being distributed to individuals and families in need. Convoy is locally procuring and shipping products to be distributed all over the impact zone. Relief in Turkey and Syria is still needed and Convoy is there to provide essential supplies to keep people healthy and support to keep people hopeful.

March 1, 2023 | 3:09 p.m.

Convoy of Hope is continuing relief efforts in Turkey and Syria in response to the devastating earthquakes that rocked the region in early February.

Since the initial earthquake on February 6, the death toll has risen to more than 50,000. “[T]hey are more than numbers. They were mothers, fathers, daughters and sons,” Alvara Rodriguez, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Turkey, told UN News.

Winter clothes are distributed to survivors of the earthquakes that struck Syria and Turkey.

Survivors of the quakes are left without basic necessities like food, water, and shelter. Convoy of Hope is working on the ground to procure, ship, and distribute relief supplies throughout the impact zone. The most-needed items are tents, cots, camping chairs, lanterns, and shoes.

When survivors of a catastrophe like this one receive relief supplies, they receive emotional relief as well — the knowledge that they are not forgotten. Amid the most devastating time of their lives, survivors are reminded through humanitarian aid that people around the world care about them and want to help relieve some of the burden they feel.

Convoy of Hope will continue to provide relief for vulnerable people throughout the impact zone as they wade through the muddy waters of uncertainty in the days ahead.

February 27, 2023 | 2:04 p.m.

Three weeks after the initial 7.8 earthquake and strong aftershocks, another earthquake — this one measuring at 5.6 — shook southern Turkey and caused already damaged buildings to collapse. The Associated Press reported one fatality and more than 100 injuries. City parks and open spaces are filled with people sleeping in tents because they are terrified to sleep in a building, though some survivors don’t have a choice. The World Bank estimates that 1.25 million people have been left homeless due to the building damage and collapse caused by the earthquakes. 

Convoy of Hope is continuing to locally procure, ship, and distribute supplies in the impact zone. One of Convoy’s contacts on the ground bought a car just two days before the first earthquake struck. They used it to transport a jackhammer from another village and free 15 people from the rubble. Then, they made 1,000 meals a day and delivered them to people in need.

Convoy of Hope will continue to work with partners and organizations on the ground to distribute vital supplies and give hope to the devastated people of both Turkey and Syria.

February 23, 2023 | 2:47 p.m.

Convoy of Hope has distributed more than a quarter million meals to earthquake survivors in Turkey and Syria. Along with meals, Convoy will also be providing survivors with water filters, hygiene kits, baby care kits, clothing, diapers, and blankets. Essentials are being locally procured and shipped to the region as quickly as possible.

Many people’s livelihoods, jobs, homes, and ways of life have been completely demolished. Recovering from a disaster of this magnitude will require providing aid to those left in the disaster zone, as well as those who fled and are starting over somewhere else. The U.N. estimates that, in Syria alone, 5.4 million people will be homeless as a result of the quakes.

February 21, 2023 | 9:20 p.m.

Convoy of Hope continues to distribute vital aid to those living in Turkey and Syria. The resources distributed include water filters, tarps, hygiene kits, baby supplies, backpacks, totes, and clothing. Teams are purchasing supplies locally and supporting soup kitchens to provide hot meals. They are also delivering family food kits that can provide 100,000 meals a week to each location.

Turkey and Syria Earthquake Relief

Convoy teams in the region are reporting widespread damage along the faultline. In a country roughly the size of Texas, the impact area within Turkey is roughly the size of Pennsylvania. Swaths of uninhabitable buildings stretch for miles. Structures are either piles of rubble or so badly damaged that no one can go inside. 

Tents are set up everywhere. City parks and open spaces are filled with people. Some are displaced, but others are simply terrified to sleep in a building in case another earthquake strikes.

Turkey and Syria Earthquake Relief

The cities of Kahramanmaras and Antioch are devastated. Here, people stand for days outside of ruined buildings waiting for someone to remove the rubble so they can collect the bodies of their dead loved ones. There are families who have lost everything. All of Turkey and Syria are in mourning.

The earthquake that shook already devastated regions of Turkey and Syria yesterday killed six people and injured nearly 300. Currently, the death toll of the earthquakes sits at 45,000. More than 115,000 people have been injured. Almost 900,000 people are homeless or living in temporary shelters.

Nearly 140,000 buildings collapsed, should be demolished immediately, or are heavily damaged. More than 6,000 aftershocks have rocked the region. Sadly, geologists are warning that there will inevitably be more earthquakes to come in the not-too-distant future.

February 20, 2023 | 2:20 p.m.

Another earthquake, this one a magnitude 6.4, struck Turkey and Syria earlier today. The Turkish Interior Minister says three people were killed and more than 200 injured. The area affected is the same region still reeling from the earthquakes that struck on February 6 and killed more than 45,000 people.

Convoy of Hope’s teams in Turkey have all reported they are safe and uninjured.

February 16, 2023 | 3:40 p.m.

After more than a week since the earthquake, the death toll has topped 41,000 and is expected to continue rising as more rubble is cleared. Many people’s livelihoods, jobs, homes, and ways of life have been completely demolished. Aid is needed not only for those remaining in the areas affected, but also for people who have been forced to flee and look for a new home.

According to contacts on the ground, more than 50,000 buildings are heavily damaged or have collapsed in Turkey alone. The U.N. estimates nearly 5.3 million people in Syria are without homes and are in need of shelter assistance.

Turkey and Syria Earthquake Relief

The devastation in both countries is vast, but Convoy of Hope is there to provide emergency relief, support, and a sense of hope to survivors.

February 15, 2023 | 4:35 p.m.

Millions of Turks and Syrians have been displaced by the massive earthquakes that struck the region more than a week ago. A large majority of them are no longer living in the rubble of the impact zone but are instead moving to cities less affected by the quakes.

While they may be out of the area of impact, they are displaced, have no homes, and are forced to sleep in stadiums, shelters, or in tents. Many survivors only have the clothes they were wearing when the earthquakes struck. Everyday needs like hygiene items and coats are impossible to find.

Convoy of Hope continues to bring help and hope to the region. Food and resource distributions are still taking place, and both Turkish and Syrian survivors are receiving aid.

In addition to shipping in supplies from outside Turkey and Syria, Convoy is using its global network to procure resources locally, which can quickly be moved into the hands of the people who need it. Local ingredients, such as lentils, peas, beans, and bulgar (parboiled whole wheat) are being sent to local partners and soup kitchens who are serving it to survivors.

The needs are great, but Convoy is working to meet as many of those needs as possible. As the death toll continues to climb and communities are facing the monumental task of rebuilding, Convoy is there to help them find the hope they need to continue.

February 14, 2023 | 4:30 p.m.

The death toll for the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria has passed 40,000. Turkey is reporting that more than 105,000 people have been injured. The U.N. is stating that more than 7 million children have been affected by the massive earthquakes. This is officially the deadliest disaster in Turkey’s modern history. 

“The disaster area is 200 miles by 250 miles,” said a partner in the region. “I drove for six hours through it, and every structure I see is demolished.”

Convoy of Hope is responding in both Turkey and Syria to deliver vital, life-saving aid to survivors. Shipments of food, water, and other essentials are being sent to and purchased within the impact zone. Clothing, tents, sleeping bags, diapers, and baby formula — all in high demand — are being distributed in communities throughout the region.

“The human need in the aftermath of these earthquakes is enormous,” said Convoy of Hope’s Ryan Grabill. “Convoy is doing everything it can to get as much aid to the region as possible. Our team in the U.S. and our partners on the ground are working together to make sure survivors receive the help they need.”

Tomorrow, more distributions are happening in the impact zone in Syria. Additional team members are traveling to Turkey, increasing Convoy’s overall capacity and assisting with distributions. Once there, they will work with partners to both distribute supplies being shipped in and to procure product in the country.

February 13, 2023 | 4:08 p.m.

A week after an earthquake and strong aftershocks devastated both Turkey and Syria, more than 36,000 people have died. Some are miraculously still being pulled from the rubble alive, but the rescue phase is coming to a close as governments and organizations shift their priorities to humanitarian relief for survivors.

Turkey and Syria Earthquake Relief

Convoy of Hope’s distribution in response to the earthquake is underway. According to Convoy’s partners on the ground, some communities within the impact zone have seen a 60% increase in price for goods. Convoy teams are working with partners and contacts in the area to ship, procure, and distribute relief supplies.

Families left wondering where their next meal will come from are now experiencing glimmers of hope from the warm food they receive from Convoy’s partners.

Simultaneously, infrastructure damage compounded with the fuel shortage has made deliveries and market visits challenging. Each household receives electricity for 1 to 2 hours a day at the most. Local groups are focusing on providing shelter, food, schooling, relief supplies, and emotional support for survivors.

Recovery may be far from over, but Convoy of Hope is far from finished. As obstacles continue to arise, Convoy teams will be there, bringing a sense of hope amid grief.

February 11, 2023 | 2:50 p.m.

Distribution of relief supplies has begun in response to the Turkey and Syria earthquakes.

Search and rescue teams continue the harrowing work of looking for earthquake survivors in Turkey and Syria. While there are hopeful stories of families being pulled from the rubble even days after being buried, the death toll continues to climb. This morning, it officially passed 25,000 people.

Turkey and Syria Earthquake Relief

Convoy of Hope’s contacts in the area report the same kind of tension in the survivors waiting to hear whether or not their loved ones have been found. Convoy’s Christian Rodriguez spoke with an on-the-ground partner who recounted one woman’s experience.

“She had this very sad look on her face because she was so worried about her family that hadn’t been found yet,” he said. “She was hoping the next person to be found would be her family. And when they pulled people out of the rubble, her face would immediately fill with joy and happiness because they had found someone. But then her face would fill with sadness again because it wasn’t one of her family members.”

Turkey and Syria Earthquake Relief

As survivors grapple with the death of their loved ones as well as the uncertainty of whether the people they love are still alive, Convoy of Hope is sending food, water, and relief supplies to the area — meeting basic needs as survivors navigate the heaviness of what comes next.

To join us in this response, give to the Crisis Relief Fund today.

February 10, 2023 | 11:10 p.m.

Over 100 hours after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake and several large aftershocks caused mass devastation in both Turkey and Syria, there seemed to be no hope left of finding any survivors still in the rubble.

Turkey Earthquake

Then, in Iskenderun, rescuers pulled out a family of six — all alive — and reunited them with their son, who wasn’t in the building at the time of the collapse. Rescue workers, weary from the physically and emotionally grueling work over the past five days, embraced each other and cried at the sight of the family’s survival and reunification.

The death toll has climbed to more than 22,700, with close to 83,000 injured. Rescue teams are still working to pull out any remaining survivors, but efforts are now starting to shift to helping the millions now left without homes. Convoy of Hope remains committed to sending aid and providing hope amid devastation.

February 9, 2023 | 2:06 p.m.

The total number of deaths from the earthquake that took place just four days ago has officially crested 20,000, with more than 75,000 injuries across both Turkey and Syria. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and left homeless, seeking shelter in stadiums, mosques, or anywhere they can hide from the cold.

Food, water, and heat are the biggest needs right now.

Turkey and Syria Earthquake Relief

Relief supplies from Convoy of Hope are en route to survivors. Contacts on the ground are finding out what the specific needs are within multiple communities. Clothing, tents, sleeping bags, diapers, baby formula, and fuel are among the most urgent items needed. Convoy teams are working hard to best deliver and distribute relief supplies to those devastated and left vulnerable by the earthquake.

This particular earthquake was a strike-slip earthquake, which is the type of quake that occurs because two tectonic plates slide horizontally past each other. In this case, the Arabian Plate and the Anatolian Plate slid past each other, creating an earthquake with a sizable range.

February 8, 2023 | 11 a.m.

As teams continue their search and rescue efforts in the wake of the earthquake, the death toll has risen to over 11,000. Nearly 300,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Syria alone. The freezing weather conditions have made rescue efforts difficult, but teams press on. 

Earthquake in Turkey
Civil defense workers and residents search through the rubble of collapsed buildings in the town of Harem near the Turkish border, Idlib province, Syria, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. A powerful earthquake has caused significant damage in southeast Turkey and Syria and many casualties are feared. Damage was reported across several Turkish provinces, and rescue teams were being sent from around the country. (AP Photo/Ghaith Alsayed)

Though hope seems dwindling, there are still people being rescued alive out of the rubble. A newborn baby was pulled from the rubble and rushed to the hospital, where she is now in stable condition and is moving her arms and legs normally. Elsewhere, a 3-year-old boy was pulled from the rubble and reunited with his father, who had been rescued hours before.

February 7, 2023 | 2:32 p.m.

The death toll from the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria has passed 7,000 people. Tragically, that number is expected to rise. Search and rescue teams are working tirelessly to uncover survivors from the rubble, but freezing temperatures and more than 300 aftershocks are hampering efforts.

The AP has reported that voices coming from inside the rubble are falling silent. 

Convoy of Hope is working with partners and contacts throughout the impact zone to ship, procure, and distribute relief supplies. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said 13 million of the country’s residents have been impacted in some way. The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 23 million people have been affected throughout the region.

Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria
 February 6, 2023, Syria, Harem: Syrian civilians and members of the White Helmets conduct search and rescue operations in the rubble of a collapsed building following a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit Syria. Photo by: Anas Alkharboutli/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Ryan Grabill, Senior Director of Convoy of Hope’s International Disaster Services, says, “Right now, people are without access to their most basic and fundamental needs — food, water, and shelter. In the midst of the devastation, our team and field partners are working to bring hope where hope is currently light. Due to the harsh winter weather, even more needs are present. We will continue to work tirelessly to provide food and warmth to those affected by these earthquakes.”

Turkey and Syria Earthquake Relief
The center of Hatay, seen with destroyed buildings following the earthquake. Turkey experienced the biggest earthquake of this century in the border region with Syria. The earthquake was measured at 7.7 magnitude. (Photo by Tunahan Turhan / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

Hundreds of thousands of survivors have taken refuge wherever they can: government shelters, hotels, shopping malls, stadiums, mosques, and community centers. But many more had no place to go and were forced to spend the night outside gathered around fires.

The region sits on top of major fault lines, and disastrous earthquakes are unfortunately frequent occurrences. More than 17,000 were killed in earthquakes that struck northwest Turkey in 1999.

February 6, 2023 | 4:16 p.m.

A winter storm has exacerbated the situation as civilians reel from the devastating earthquake that shook both Turkey and Syria early Monday.

Snowstorms swept the area over the weekend. Freezing rain and snow continue to fall on survivors as they search for loved ones. Temperatures are expected to drop below freezing in some areas overnight. People whose homes were devastated by the quake are forced to seek shelter or be left vulnerable to the elements.

Video above: A contact of Convoy of Hope sent this video of collapsed buildings and snowfall in Turkey after Monday’s series of earthquakes. 

The death toll continues to climb over 3,400 as rescue workers sort through the debris. The initial quake was measured at 7.8, with one of the aftershocks measuring at 7.5. For context, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti measured at a 7.0 magnitude.

“Families are without heat. Many of them had to leave their homes with just the outfit they had on, so it’s a very challenging situation for many families,” said Convoy of Hope’s Ryan Grabill. “Convoy of Hope is working hard to provide food and water, hygiene supplies, and sheltering supplies.”

February 6, 2023 | 11:14 a.m.

Convoy of Hope is responding to the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. So far it’s being reported that more than 2,300 people have died. Food, water, and other essentials will be sent to the region as quickly as possible.

The powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the region Monday, leveling buildings in both Turkey and Syria and trapping hundreds beneath the rubble. Tragically, the death toll will certainly rise as rescuers attempt to find survivors. Snowy winter weather and violent aftershocks — one nearly as strong as the original earthquake — have made rescue efforts frustratingly slow.

The earthquake was so strong that it was felt as far away as Cairo, Egypt.



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