“A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked southeast Turkey and northern Syria early Monday, toppling hundreds of buildings and killing more than 6,200 people.
As of Monday morning, thousands of people were injured and hundreds still believed to be trapped under rubble. The toll is expected to rise as rescue workers search mounds of wreckage in cities and towns across the area.
On both sides of the border, the predawn quake left buildings pancaked after a cold, rainy and snowy night. Major aftershocks and new quakes, including one nearly as strong as the first, continued to rattle the region as relief efforts began in the midst of a winter storm.
As countries across the world gear up to join the relief effort and provide aid, here’s how you can help from the Pacific Northwest:
With offices around the world, Islamic Relief USA launched a global appeal Monday to raise $24 million to provide urgent aid in Syria and Turkey.
In northwest Syria, Islamic Relief is providing urgent medical supplies to help overwhelmed hospitals and clinics, as well as blankets and tents for people.
The Islamic Relief team is distributing all the supplies they have in stock, said Mohammed Hamza, head of Islamic Relief’s office in Idlib, northwest Syria, “but these will run out today, and we need more as soon as possible.”
“People urgently need tents, food parcels and blankets. Hospitals are inundated with injured people, so we’re providing them with medicine and other supplies,” Hamza added.
In southeast Turkey, the organization will provide cash vouchers to survivors, the organization said in a news release.
Hamza witnessed the destruction in Syria firsthand.
“It was 4 a.m. and I woke up to the house shaking from side to side. Everything was shaking, bricks were falling out,” Hamza said. “People were shouting for their lost children — whole families were separated and lost.”