As you all know, a devasting earthquake, registering 7.2 on the richter scale, hit the city of Van and its surroundings on Sunday, October 23 at 1:42pm local time.
As it is always the case with earthquakes, the inhabitants were caught off guard. Unfortunately, Van and especially the province of Erciş were hit very hard and a major portion of the buildings collapsed adding to the devastation!
Efforts are under way to find and extract the people caught inside (mainly woman and children as it was a Sunday and most were at home during the quake), but the news coming over the news wires are not very good.
According to initital estimates, more than 1,000 people will have lost there lives and the majority of the survivors have lost their home and all of their possessions!
There has been a major effort throughout the country to get provisions to Van as quickly as possible and rescue teams have been rushing to the scene.
For my "international" blog readers, I would like to share the following website if you want to make a donation...
If you live in Turkey, you can send a text message to the following organizations to make a donation. Each "blank" text message is 5 TL and all funds will go directly to these organizations.
Kızılay (Red Cross of Turkey) 2868 (www.kizilay.org.tr)
AKUT 2930 (www.akut.org.tr)
The people in Van are in dire straits... most are living on the streets or in the tents given to them by the Red Cross of Turkey and other organizations. The weather is really cold and snow is expected tomorrow.
It will take them a really long time to recover from this disaster and require warm clothing, heaters, blankets, diapers, shoes, boots and pre-cooked food (canned goods, milk, baby food, etc.) among others. There are several things you can do to donate these supplies. For the children, you can also send books, toys, etc.
1) If you live in Istanbul and want to donate any of the above goods, contact the Municipality of Şişli at (0212) 288 75 76. They have a long haul truck that will be departing this evening (October 24) at 6:00pm, but I am sure their efforts to send supplies will continue.
2) The following courier companies in Turkey will send care packages to Van free of charge:
- MNG Kargo
- Yurtiçi Kargo
- Aras Kargo
- Municipality of Kadıköy Tel: (0216) 542 50 55
- Municipality of Beşiktaş: Tel: 444 44 55
- Municipality of Bornova in Izmir Tel: (0232) 388 29 64
Finally, the following website includes a whole host of information on how you can help and what is needed.
Thanks to everyone in advance for their support! Our thoughts are prayers are with the inhabitants of Van!