Turkey, Syria: UAE pledges $100 MN in quake relief as death toll tops 11,000
UAE President HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has ordered an aid package totalling $100 million to support earthquake relief efforts in Turkey and neighbouring Syria as the death toll crosses 11,000, state news agency WAM reported Tuesday.
A powerful 7.8-magnitude tremor struck Turkey early Monday, killing scores of people in their sleep, causing vibrations throughout the region, levelling thousands of buildings, including historical monuments, and causing survivors to rush into snowy streets in their pyjamas.
The quake, considered one of the largest in over a century, was followed by a number of aftershocks. The Turkish government has declared a three-month state of emergency in ten badly-affected areas and has also advised people to leave Sanliurfa as it fears buildings still standing might also have been weakened.
Authorities fear the death toll will keep climbing as rescuers search for survivors in the rubble.
The Emirates is among over 70 countries that have offered rescue teams and other aid to the quake-hit nations. The $100 million aid package will be divided equally between Turkey and Syria.
The Mideast nation has also dispatched seven aid flights to support search and rescue operations, two of which will land in the Syrian capital of Damascus. A field hospital has also been established in Turkey to help the victims.
On Monday, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid ordered an aid package worth $13.61 million through the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives to offer beneficial assistance to affected Syrians.
Under the directives of President Sheikh Mohamed, UAE’s Joint Operations Command of the Ministry of Defence announced Tuesday the launch of the “Gallant Knight/2” operation to offer much-needed support to the people affected by the disaster.
The operation is a testament to the country’s commitment to sending humanitarian aid to those in need, irrespective of religion, region, and diplomacy. The assistance to the quake-hit nations highlights the Emirates’ deep principles and belief in humanity.
The country also offered Pakistan noteworthy aid after torrential rain and flash floods last year killed scores of people and brought misery to a number of families.