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Volunteers stream into Istanbul airport to join rescue effort in Turkiye, Syria

February 7, 2023 at 10:02 am

Volunteers stream into Istanbul airport to join rescue effort in Turkiye, Syria [@celik/Twitter]

Huge crowds of people have gathered in Istanbul Airport to volunteer in southeast Turkiye to help in the aftermath of the earthquakes.

They hope to join over 24,000 search and rescue firefighters, doctors, soldiers and civilians who are searching the rubble for survivors.

In the early hours of yesterday morning northern Syria and southern Turkiye were hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, followed by a second just hours later.

The quakes destroyed buildings, hospitals and bridges and electricity was cut. The latest death toll put the number of people dead at over 5,000.

Thousands of people have nowhere to sleep and nothing to eat, whilst hospitals are overwhelmed.

As well as ordinary citizen volunteers, the tragedy has elicited a global response, with countries across the world, from the US to Japan, sending engineers, medical workers, and aid workers to Turkiye.

The EU has activated its Copernicus satellite system to provide emergency mapping services and at least 13 member states have offered assistance.

Israel said it is ready to send aid and rescue teams to Turkiye and Syria, though Damascus has denied requesting help from the occupation state. Arab countries including Iraq and the UAE will also help the effort.

Russian rescue workers will also fly in to help.

Survivors of the earthquakes have also joined the effort and are searching for people under the rubble.

READ: Syria toddler survives quake, but mother and siblings perish