Following the powerful earthquakes that hit the south of Turkey (formerly known as Turkey) and northwest Syria on February 6th, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), already supporting the population of northwest Syria, has mobilised its team along with local partners to respond to the increasing needs in the area. So far, the United Nations has confirmed there are more than 9,000 people wounded and 2,300 dead, according to the first estimates in both countries.
One of our staff members was also unfortunately found dead under the rubble of his house in Idlib, and others lost members of their families.
“We are very shocked and saddened by the impact of this disaster on the thousands of people touched by it, including our colleagues and their families”Sebastien Gay, MSF Head of Mission in Syria
“Health facilities are impacted and overwhelmed, and the medical personnel in northern Syria is working around the clock to respond to the huge numbers of wounded arriving to the facilities. From the first hours, our teams treated around 200 wounded and we received 160 casualties in the facilities and the clinics that we run or support in northern Idlib. Our ambulances are also deployed to assist the population”, adds Sebastien Gay, MSF Head of Mission in Syria..
MSF provided immediate support to 23 health facilities across Idlib and Aleppo governorates by donating emergency medical kits and supporting them with medical staff to reinforce their teams.
Moreover, our teams have donated blankets and essential life kits to the displaced populations in northwest Syria. The level of damage in the region has caused the destruction of hundreds of houses, leaving thousands homeless. It has been snowing the past three days, and the population remains outside out of fear of further aftershocks that continued throughout the day.
“The needs are very high in northwest Syria as this quake adds a dramatic layer for the vulnerable populations that are still struggling after many years of war. The massive consequences of this disaster will require an international aid effort that is up to the scale”.Sebastien Gay, MSF Head of Mission in Syria
MSF remains in close contact with the local authorities in northwest Syria and with the authorities in Turkey to extend our support where it’s needed. We are currently assessing the situation and needs in Idlib, northern Aleppo and south Turkey to scale up our response accordingly, as the number of deaths and injuries is increasing by the hour.