The global community has been in shock after a series of devastating earthquakes struck Syria and Turkey yesterday taking the lives of thousands. The government of Syria had requested the international community to come to its aid. As part of this, the UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum released humanitarian aid of Dh 50 million to Syria as part of the rescue and rehabilitation efforts.
This would be carried out through ration parcels distributed under the Rashid Al Maktoum Global initiatives and it is also part of the ninth principle of the ‘Principles of the 50’ which sees UAE’s foreign humanitarian aid to be a core part of the vision of the Emirates towards nations and people who are in need of help. The UAE doesn’t differentiate in terms of race, creed, or religion in lending a helping hand to the communities in need.
This was the biggest earthquake recorded in the history of Syria and Turkey in this century
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that the UAE will support Syria and its people through this crisis as it is part of a humanitarian value that everyone must follow. The brotherly people of Syria need all the help they need at this time and the UAE will provide all the help it can.
The President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has directed the officials to send an immediate search and rescue team with a provision of medical supplies and emergency aid to both Syria and Turkey. A field hospital with urgent supplies will also be set up by the UAE team in both countries under the directives of President Sheikh Mohamed.
The UAE has always been keen to help countries that are hit by natural calamities and last year the Emirate nation sent aid to flood-hit Pakistan to assist in their recovery efforts.
The international humanitarian and developmental efforts of the UAE have always been a part of the nation’s effort to provide aid for affected communities around the globe. The financial and rescue-based assistance is intended to provide active solutions to reduce the suffering of people and to initiate development programs that will help their economy to overcome the dearth caused by natural disasters and other unexpected crises.
According to the latest reports, more than 4,300 people have died in a series of massive earthquakes and related aftershocks in Syria and Turkey. The earthquake reportedly happened in the early hours of Monday morning and this has been recorded as one of the biggest earthquakes to hit the border region in a century with a magnitude reading of 7.8 on the Richter scale.
The tremors of the earthquake were felt as far as Israel and Lebanon. In Syria, around 1,451 people were confirmed dead and in Turkey, the count was 2,921 with more than 15,800 suffering injuries. The Syrian areas that were affected are divided between government-controlled and anti-government bodies like the “White Helmets”.
The team of seismologists and experts from other related areas are also dumbstruck by this unprecedented calamity and they are not sure if the quakes will not repeat again. Officials are warning the citizens to not go back to the buildings as of yet.
A number of nations have sent their relief teams to take part in the rescue operations in Syria and Turkey that started early yesterday morning. There had been repeated aftershocks from the initial earthquake throughout the day and another earthquake of 7.5 magnitudes were recorded in Turkey around the afternoon.
A medical relief organization, SAMS has been trying to set up its relief camps in Syria but the heavy damage to the buildings is causing problems as four of their hospitals have already been damaged due to the earthquake.
A lot of people are still in disbelief that they were able to survive the earthquake as the destruction around them was too huge to comprehend. The famous historical monument, Gaziantep Castle in Turkey was also heavily damaged in the earthquake and the heavy winter storms in the area are making the rescue efforts more difficult.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Syria’s situation is far worse as close to four million people rely on humanitarian aid in the northwest area of Syria which was affected by the earthquake.
The people from these regions have been suffering from a recent cholera outbreak and harsh winter conditions when the earthquake struck. These hostile conditions made their lives a living hell as the entire families were dead and the survivors had to sleep on the streets battling the chilling winter.
Both the leaders of the UAE expressed their condolences to the affected families of the earthquake victims and also wished a speedy recovery to the injured people.