According to the Associated Press, the death toll from the earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria has been increased to over 50,000, "with many more injured, tens of thousands still missing and hundreds of thousands homeless."
Scientists now say that over 10,000 aftershocks (relatively smaller earthquakes) have hit the region over the past three weeks. On February 20, a major 6.4 aftershock quake hit Antakya, where Mercy Chefs helped establish a container kitchen to feed earthquake victims. On Monday, another major aftershock rattled the region.
Reuters published this graphic visualization of the initial massive earthquakes and the aftershocks.
Imagine having already lost a loved one and also your home, and yet the ground beneath you keeps shaking day after day, night after night...
Through our partner organizations, Mercy Chefs continues to help bring relief to earthquake victims in both Turkey and Syria. Currently, we have helped establish two container kitchens that are now operational in Turkey.
With these kitchens, along with our partners we've created a network for hot meals across the earthquake zone. Our partners in Syria are reaching people who sadly may have been beyond the reach of relief agencies due to that country's political turmoil.
I want to keep a lifeline of support flowing to earthquake victims who are still feeling the daily shaking of the ground beneath their feet. The fact is, their lives have been shook in ways we can't even imagine: loss of loved ones; loss of their homes and material possessions; loss of jobs. Many are living on the streets or in tent cities. Their next meal is critical.
Being on the ground in Turkey was shocking. I have stood on the front lines of some of the worst disasters that have hit over the past two decades, and I have never seen anything that compares. This disaster didn't just impact poor areas. It's changed everyone's lives.
Thanks in advance, and may God bless you.
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
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