News publications and other organizations are encouraged to reuse Direct Relief-published content for free under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International), given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

When republishing:

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Republishing Images:

Unless stated otherwise, images shot by Direct Relief may be republished for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution, given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

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Direct Relief often contracts with freelance photographers who usually, but not always, allow their work to be published by Direct Relief’s media partners. Contact Direct Relief for permission to use images in which Direct Relief is not credited in the caption by clicking here.

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For any additional questions about republishing Direct Relief content, please email the team here.

Mobilizing Relief for Turkey, Syria in Response to Major Earthquake

Organization commits $200,000 to immediate search and rescue efforts and acute health needs resulting from the 7.8-magnitude temblor.


Turkey-Syria Earthquake 2023

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Sunday night caused widespread damage across Turkey and northern Syria. More than 2,000 people have been confirmed killed, with numbers expected to rise in the coming days, with the earthquake occurring in the middle of the night and impacting highly populated areas. The region is also experiencing below-freezing temperatures, which create health risks for people who have been displaced due to collapsed and unsafe buildings.

Immediately after the quake, Direct Relief began mobilizing medical aid and has committed an initial $200,000 to local partners in Turkey and Syria.

  • Direct Relief is supporting search and rescue efforts, committing $100,000 to AKUT, the leading search and rescue team in Turkey with over 400 staff and volunteers. AKUT has deployed its teams to the earthquake zone, and their early reports detail over 1,700 collapsed buildings, no power, and below-freezing temperatures. Southern Turkey is home to 3.6 million refugees, many of whom live in camps, at risk of plunging temperatures and an impending storm looming off the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Direct Relief has also committed $100,000 to the Syrian American Medical Society, which operates health facilities in northwest Syria, and those facilities have already received over 1,000 patients impacted by the earthquake. The region contains a large population of internally displaced people and refugees at particular risk of disaster and impacts from interrupted power, health services, food and water access, and limited shelter. Syria is already experiencing a cholera outbreak, a threat often magnified by an earthquake’s destruction. More than 77,000 suspected cholera cases had been reported in Syria since August 25, 2022, including more than 6,500 in camps for internally displaced persons.

Immediate and Near-Term Response

The Turkish government requested international assistance within hours after the quake, and Direct Relief is connecting with medical responders in the region, including the Syrian American Medical Society, which has based its Syria and Turkey operations out of Gaziantep, near the epicenter.

Direct Relief is mobilizing medical aid deliveries to help address immediate and near-term medical needs. It is doing so in coordination with local officials and agencies to ensure efficiency and avoid bottlenecks that can occur when efforts to bring in personnel and material assistance converge in an area with damaged infrastructure.

Over the next several weeks, the priority will be to bolster the availability of medical items needed to treat a range of traumatic injuries caused by falling debris, crush injuries, fractures, lacerations and search and rescue activities. A continued flow of primary care items to help keep people with chronic health conditions will also be necessary, especially while local resources are reallocated for emergency response.

Injury and Disease Risks From Earthquakes

Earthquakes typically cause various blunt trauma and orthopedic injuries, such as broken bones, lacerations, and crush syndrome from being trapped under heavy debris. An overwhelming number of injuries in the initial moments of an emergency can create an acute need for health personnel, medical supplies, blood, and medicines.

In addition to the acute medical needs resulting from the earthquake, people can become ill due to their lack of shelter, compromised water and sanitation systems, lack of refrigeration, and untreated injuries. These circumstances can lead to bacterial infections and disease outbreaks among people who are forced into temporary shelters.

Direct Relief will continue to respond to requests in the region as they become known.

For more information, see: https://www.directrelief.org/emergency/turkey-syria-earthquake/

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