Northern Ireland continues to show support for Turkey and Syria earthquake victims
A book of condolence was opened in Belfast City Hall on Thursday by the Lord Mayor, Tina Black, while a similar step has been taken in Londonderry where the Mayor Sandra Duffy is urging people to show their support by signing a book of condolence at the Guildhall.
Charity efforts have continued both home and abroad, including the K9 Search & Rescue NI team from Northern Ireland who have helped locate six people – including two young children – in collapsed buildings in south Turkey.
Two earthquakes of magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 struck nine hours apart in south-eastern Turkey and Syria on February 6.
The death toll is in the tens of thousands and still growing as rescuers continued to work to reach people trapped under the rubble.
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane council, Sandra Duffy, said: “My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones or who are waiting on news of family members who are missing. The scenes of the aftermath of the earthquake are just heartbreaking and the numbers of people impacted by this tragedy is beyond belief.
“It is important that the people of Derry and Strabane and the wider North West continue to show their solidarity and support to all those impacted by this tragedy and to do what they can to provide support. I know that it’s a difficult time for many people with the cost of living crisis but would appeal to anyone who is in a position to donate money to do so via the Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal 2023.”
The local appeals came as the Disaster Emergencies Committee (DEC), a non-government organisation bringing together 15 UK charities, announced donations had reached £84 million in just six days.
Meanwhile, international efforts continued on Thursday as the head of Nato visited Turkey in a show of solidarity.
Secretary general Jens Stoltenberg pledged ongoing support as he met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara on Thursday.