Earthquakes Turkey and Syria: Welsh Government donates

A collapsed building in Sanliurfa, Turkey

More than 19,000 people are known to have died in 7.8 magnitude earthquakes

The Welsh Government is donating £300,000 to the victims of Monday’s terrible earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

He has pledged to the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal as the death toll reaches more than 19,000 people.

Millions of people have been left homeless in freezing conditions and are in desperate need of blankets, emergency shelter, food and clean water.

The UK government is matching the funds raised, up to £5,000,000.

Welsh Social Justice Minister Jane Hutt offered her condolences to those who have lost loved ones and said her thoughts were also with the Turks and Syrians in Wales who are anxiously awaiting news.

“The scale of the destruction is vast and I would like to thank the brave search and rescue teams who continue to search the wreckage for survivors,” he said.

Five firefighters from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service have been deployed to Turkey to assist in search and rescue operations.

The team is equipped with specialized research equipment, including seismic listening devices, concrete cutting and breaking equipment, and bolstering and shoring tools.

Welsh Government Minister Jane Hutt MS with members of the Turkish and Syrian communities of Wales

Welsh Government Minister Jane Hutt MS with members of Wales’ Turkish and Syrian communities as support discussed in the Senedd

“My Hometown Was Wiped Out”

Emir Cecen, bartender at Cafe Unwind in Newport, comes from Adiyaman in Turkey, where his family was left homeless by the earthquake.

He helped fill a donation van, which left Newport on Tuesday.

He told Radio Wales Breakfast: “It’s a very difficult time.

“I woke up and got twenty, thirty missed calls from friends, family, friends here.

“It was really devastating.”

She added: “My family is on the street. My mother sleeps in a school, along with my uncle, aunt and grandmother.

“My father is also out in his car. My hometown has been almost 80% wiped out and there are still many people under the rubble.

“One of my closest friends, who lives with me here in Newport, his mother is also under the rubble. He hasn’t been able to get in touch with her and it’s been so long.

“They need something that people can really give and support them with.”

Sian Stephen, external relations manager for Wales at DEC, told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast: “The scale of the disaster is enormous.

“Fifteen thousand people have lost their lives, many others have been injured and thousands of buildings have collapsed.

“We know that there are 17,000,000 people in the affected area and the people who have survived this terrible experience are in need of urgent help.

“We heard that in northwestern Syria, people who are living in tents because they have been displaced by war are now hosting families who have lost their homes and many more are living in cars, but the freezing conditions are hampering relief efforts and also making it very dangerous for the survivors”.

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