The British Red Cross has launched an appeal to help the tens of thousands of people left homeless by the Turkey earthquake.
The 7.2-magnitude quake struck Turkey’s eastern province of Van on Sunday 23 October 2011, and has claimed the lives of 461 people, destroyed 2000 buildings creating an urgent need for accommodation ahead of the onset of winter.
Volunteers and staff from the Turkish Red Crescent – one of the Europe’s best-equipped earthquake response organisations – have been working around the clock for three days rescuing survivors and distributing life saving essentials such as tents, stoves, food and water.
The British Red Cross has now said it is accepting donations from the UK public to help fund the relief effort. Funds from the British Red Cross appeal will be used to support the work of the Turkish Red Crescent, and help provide thousands of survivors with temporary shelter, including tents and blankets.
Katy Attfield, British Red Cross head of disaster management said: “Hundreds of people have been confirmed dead, thousands are injured and tens of thousands of people have been made homeless.”
“The area affected is mountainous, it’s freezing, and making sure survivors have protection against the elements is vital for keeping them safe," she said.
“The Turkish Red Crescent is doing an incredible job, and as the scale of the disaster becomes clear, there is an important role for us to support them financially and with supplies as they respond to this tragedy,” declared Attfield.
Turkish Red Crescent workers have also established soup kitchens and tent camps in Ercis stadium for those whose homes have been destroyed or who are afraid to stay inside due to the many strong aftershocks.
The appeal, which comes after the Turkish government and Turkish Red Crescent announced they would accept external assistance, is part of a growing international response to the Turkey earthquake which has seen the European Union offer over 4 million Euros to help secure prefabricated housing and other assistance for quake survivors.
According to the Turkish EU Minister, 30 European countries have offered help. The Japanese government is also sending $400,000 to help fund the aid effort.
* To donate to the British Red Cross Turkey Earthquake Appeal, please visit: www.redcross.org.uk/turkeyearthquake or call 0845 054 7202