Gift of the Givers Responds to Turkey Earthquake.
Our staff in Syria and Turkey awoke to a terrifying tremor at 04h10 today, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck various villages and cities in both Turkey and Syria. Our teams rapidly evacuated the children from our Bayt Kareem Child Care Centre in Gaziantep, Turkey, whilst in Darkoush, Syria, our medical teams were on full alert to respond. The casualties started arriving with 25 deceased and 100+ injured and they are pouring in. The casualties in both countries are expected to increase exponentially. Freezing cold, rain and snow are hampering search and rescue efforts.
Gift of the Givers only responds if a call is made by the affected country for international assistance. Not only has the call been made but we have been contacted directly by the Turkish Ambassador to South Africa, Aysegul Kandas, and by the Consul General in Cape Town, Sinan Yesildag, to assist in this huge disaster. They will facilitate all the arrangements in Turkey. Our SA Ambassador to Turkey, Dipou Letsatsi-Duba has also requested our intervention. Currently, our team members including Dr Naeem Kathrada and Colin Deiner, Head of WC Provincial Disaster are in meeting with the Turkish Consul General and the GM of Turkish Airlines, Muhammed Soner Aydin. We will be meeting the Turkish Ambassador and DIRCO later today. Search and rescue, and medical teams with specialised equipment are already on standby to fly out by latest tomorrow. Turkish Airlines will facilitate the transport.Medical supplies, equipment, consumables, tents, blankets, food and other humanitarian aid will be purchased in Turkey. We are expanding our volunteer medical, search and rescue teams. Those interested can message Dr Qasim Bhorat 0842307866 (medical) or Ahmed Bham 0735716392 (search and rescue). Those wanting to assist financially can deposit into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account number 052137228, Branch Code 057525, ref Turkey.