Red Cross expresses sympathy to Türkiye-Syria quake victims

The Red Cross on Wednesday, Feb. 8, expressed its sympathy to the victims of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Türkiye and Syria on Monday.

People walk along a street strewn with debris as they look for relatives in Hatay on February 7, 2023, a day after a 7,8-magnitude earthquake struck the country's southeast. BULENT KILIC / AFP

“We wish to express our deep sympathy and solidarity with all those who were affected by the deadly earthquake that struck southern Turkey overnight Sunday to Monday,” Fabrizio Carboni, the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) director for the Middle East, said in a statement.

"The earthquake adds a layer to the humanitarian tragedy that has been ongoing in Syria for 12 years," he added.

“No words can describe the sight of families – most of whom were displaced more than once – who had to leave their homes in the freezing cold to take refuge in unsafe streets in the middle of the night. Buildings, weakened by long years of war collapsing like pieces of dominoes in Aleppo, send shivers down the spine,” he continued.

Carboni lauded the volunteers of the Turkish Red Crescent Society and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) “who are the first responders but also victims themselves.”

“Their selfless dedication to humanitarian action is formidable,” the regional director said.

Carboni also stressed that the humanitarian situation across Syria is dire and that “these facts cannot be ignored.”

“Turning a blind eye to humanitarian suffering in Syria is cruel and inhumane,” he stated.

The ICRC has started helping in the emergency relief efforts for the quake victims since Monday.

“We dispatched surgical material – enough to treat 100 people to one of the public hospitals in Aleppo. More of that and medical equipment is on its way to Aleppo, Latakia, and Tartous,” he said.

Canned food, blankets and mattresses, and other essential items will also be distributed in the affected areas.

The death toll of the devastating earthquake that struck Türkiye and Syria has surpassed 7,000 as of Wednesday.