The death toll rose Wednesday to more than 11,000 in the deadliest quake worldwide in more than a decade. In Saskatchewan, Turkish and Syrian immigrants have been left grappling with the aftermath of the disaster.
Painful aftershocks of the devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey are being felt around the world.
The death toll rose Wednesday to more than 11,000 in the deadliest quake worldwide in more than a decade.
In Saskatchewan, Turkish and Syrian immigrants have been left grappling with the aftermath of the disaster.
Some have lost family and friends, while others have been fortunate enough to hear good news.
“This morning we got the news from one of my friends that one of their girls who is six to seven years old, she is alive, and we are so happy,” said Murat Tercan, a Regina resident. For others in Tercan’s life, it has been a difficult few days.
“My other friend who is a painter in Regina, he has lost his family,” Tercan explained. “His brother, wife, kids all have died, so we had a dinner here together and we stay and try to help him.”
The 7.8 magnitude quake has left thousands in both Syria and Turkey stranded waiting for help. Search teams from more than two dozen countries have joined tens of thousands of local emergency personnel, and aid pledges have poured in from around the world to assist people impacted by the disaster.
For Saskatoon resident Rana Mustafa, her family has been in difficult circumstances even before the earthquake, as they only had electricity available for 30 minutes every five hours.
“They’re in survival mode,” Mustafa said while pausing to collect her thoughts.
Now with the aftermath of the earthquake, communication has become even more difficult.
“Things are out of order and they didn’t have internet or electricity for quite a while,” Mustafa said. “They didn’t have internet or a charged phone, so I was unable to know what was going on after the second earthquake.”
Breanne England, a Red Cross spokesperson, said people do not have shelter from the elements and are out sleeping on the streets in cold conditions without insulation.
“It is really important to imagine what is happening on the ground right now,” England said. “If you don’t have any shelter from the elements and it’s snowing and freezing, this is a life and death situation.”
People are invited to volunteer both internationally and domestically through the Red Cross on their website as well as support through financial contributions.
As part of the relief efforts in Saskatchewan, Sasktel has announced it will be waiving all long-distance calls and messaging fees made from Canada to Syria or Turkey.
“Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by the deadly earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey earlier this week,” said Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskTel.
“In times of crisis, it’s important that we come together as a community to support those who need it and assist where possible. To the Turkish and Syrian families who call this province home, please know that Saskatchewan is here for you.”
The waive in fees will take place from Feb. 9 to Feb 28. 2023.
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