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Türkiye and Syria Earthquake: Warmth Delivered In Despair
  • By Kim Sugyung,editor-in-cheif
  • 승인 2023.02.23 00:51
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▲On February 9, a Turkish resident shouted with joy as the KDRT rescued a 2-year-old girl from the rubble of a collapsed building (Source: The JoongAng)

On February 6, a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Türkiye and Syria. The radius of the affected area was about 180 to 200km. As aftershocks continued following the first earthquake on the 6th, the scale of earthquake damage is growing. As rescue operations are carried out, the number of injuries and deaths are also increasing. Accordingly, rescue and relief supplies to Türkiye are being sent from all over the world. Among them, South Korea is providing aid to Türkiye.

Three days after the Türkiye earthquake, the Korea Disaster Relief Team(KDRT) began rescue operations in Antakya, Türkiye. At the request of the Turkish government, the KDRT was dispatched to Antakya, which borders Syria, and has the most severe earthquake damage. The KDRT dug through the rubble of buildings that collapsed in the earthquake, and worked day and night to search for survivors. Three days after the earthquake, KDRT rescued the survivors from the rubble after 72 hours. 72 hours is the golden time for rescuing survivors; nevertheless, KDRT rescued the survivors and this news had given hope to the Türkish people.

South Korea is also actively providing aid relief to Türkiye. On February 13, President Yoon said, "The Republic of Korea will never forget the help of the Turkish brotherhood that was given to us during the Korean War," adding, "We should do our best to support the Turkish people amidst the earthquake damage." Korean companies and celebrities are also supporting aid relief after they heard the news of the devastating damage to Türkiye. On February 8, Doosan Group announced that, “we will provide $1 million worth of Doosan Bobcat construction equipment to be used to save lives and restore infrastructure, such as buildings and roads.” Actor Lee Hye- ri donated 50 million won (some $39,000) to the Korean Committee for UNICEF, saying, "I cannot go to Türkiye and help them directly, but I want to fund basic protection facilities such as emergency relief of children, and providing food and safe drinking water for children who lost their homes." In addition, many Koreans made donations or sent relief supplies to help earthquake victims in Türkiye. Turkish Ambassador to Seoul Murat Tamer said, " From Koreans, right after the earthquake disaster news, hundreds of calls to the embassy were received, saying, ‘I want to help the Turkish. How can I help them?’" adding, "Türkiye is in urgent need of donations and relief aids."

The Türkish Embassy in Seoul and the Korean Committee of UNICEF, are also accepting donations to help expedite the relief from the damage caused by the Türkiye earthquake. Immediately after the earthquake, the Korean Committee of UNICEF launched an, "emergency relief campaign to help children affected by the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria," and is conducting a fundraising campaign with the goal of $5 million. The Turkish Embassy in Seoul opened an embassy account for the remittance of donations. Not only monetary donations, but also relief supplies can help provide relief from the earthquake in Türkiye. Relief supplies can be packed in a box, written, "Aid Material/Türkiye," and sent to the Eagle Logistics Center in Incheon. Meanwhile, relief supplies sent from all over the country formed a mountain at the Incheon International Logistics Center on February 14. However, due to the large number of used items and items that were not properly packaged, Turkish volunteers selected them one by one, causing difficulties for officials.

Since the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, various countries and individuals have delivered warmth to provide relief from the earthquakes in Türkiye. The Turkish authorities will have to speed up medical and living support for earthquake victims, along with recovery efforts, with the support from throughout the world. We hope that the victims of the earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria have a short recovery period to overcome the devastating damage, and recover their daily lives in good health, as soon as possible.

By Kim Sugyung,editor-in-cheif  tnrud2824@naver.com

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