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Türkiye & Syria Earthquake Update with Hafez Hassan

Hannah Omarjee | homarjee@radioislam.co.za
23 February 2023 | 14:00 PM CAT
3 min read

Photo Credit: AMASA Facebook – Türkiye Earthquake

All eyes are on the affected areas of Syria and Türkiye. African Muslims Agency (AMA) teams have been on the ground in both countries since the first earthquakes two weeks ago. On Monday, just three days ago, another two earthquakes struck the Hatay region, flattening buildings and making rescue and recovery much more difficult.

According to AMA’s Hafiz Choonara, buildings still or somewhat standing have wholly collapsed after the second earthquake struck.

“The earthquakes could be felt some 300kms away; Alhamdulillah, all the teams are well and safe; no one was affected, but the experience of being on the ground that was shaky with knowing what has happened the first time was completely harrowing and frightening. Some of the teams were about to sleep, and the buildings started shaking and obviously had to run out of the building.”

People on the street are said to have been saved as they weren’t in buildings when the quakes struck.

The buildings are uninhabitable, and the government is not allowing anyone to live in them.

Hafiz Choonara said, “People who have the means are collecting their belongings and moving to family members in different parts of Turkey, but many of the people, thousands are in camps.”

The second earthquake compounded the challenge, and Africa Muslims Agency found that the needs of the people on the ground changed as the days passed.

Initially, people requested buses to get people out of the affected areas, assistance to get families out of the rubble and requests for doctors to assist those injured. Now the requests from the people are sheltering because they are in the midst of winter.

People have the challenge of losing loved ones, the challenge of shelter and loss of income. All businesses and industries are shut down in the affected areas; there are no jobs for the people to return to.

Hafiz Choonara said, “Hatay province is just ruin after ruin, and each story more heart-wrenching than the next. The situation is absolutely dire. Dire, we say so often, but it is so critical.”

The Turkish government is on the ground, has put up tents, and is assisting their people as much as possible.
Listen to the full interview here.


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