Aid groups mobilizing to help earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria

Many relief groups in Richmond and beyond are still working out their response to the deadly earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 6:25 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 6, 2023 at 6:56 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -Many relief groups in Richmond and beyond are still working out their response to the deadly earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. But they say there is no question that they will respond in some form or fashion.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world’s largest humanitarian network. While we’re used to the Red Cross helping with disasters in America, volunteers with the Red Crescent are hard at work helping those in Turkey and Syria.

They’re mobilizing crews to provide hot meals, blankets, psychosocial support and blood donations, but one major concern is safety.

”We know in these situations, particularly with earthquakes, you could see aftershocks that could have devastating effects in some situations almost as bad as the original earthquake itself,” said Jonathan McNamara with Virginia Red Cross.

Here at home, the American Red Cross hasn’t been called on for assistance yet. If they do, it’ll likely be to send people with specific expertise and specialized equipment.

”When you’re dealing with an earthquake in particular, the needs of these communities are going to change over time once the rebuilding process starts to begin, and that’s where the Red Crescent and the Red Cross network is really invaluable in making sure that as those needs change relief can be delivered,” McNamara said.

So far, more than 20 countries have announced that they’re sending personnel and supplies to support rescue efforts.

Among the organizations, NBC12 spoke to, Send Relief said they’re working out their response. Mercy Chefs said it is still assessing the situation, like many others, to figure out how it can help. Virginia Task Force One announced that they will send 79 members and six dogs to help with rescue and recovery efforts.

”Dealing with a response of this magnitude, we’re not talking about days, we’re not talking about weeks, we’re talking about months and years,” McNamara stated.

Right now, the American Red Cross doesn’t have any fundraising efforts set up, but if you want to support the people in Turkey and Syria, you can visit the IFRC website to get updates on how you can help.