TURKEY EARTHQUAKE: Hellenic Aid food drive received a massive response

hellenic aid

The first major humanitarian aid mission from Greece to Turkey and Syria is expected to begin within the next week. These are items that Regions, Municipalities, associations and citizens from all over Greece collected so that the Greek state can send to the affected areas.

The General Directorate of Development and Humanitarian Aid of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs "HELLENIC AID" said on Twitter: "The massive and immediate response of organisations and citizens from all over the country to collect humanitarian aid."

The death toll from the earthquake is likely to “more than double”, according to a UN emergency relief coordinator.

Speaking to Kay Burley on Sky News in Adana in Turkey, Martin Griffiths said he expected tens of thousands more deaths.

At least 24,596 people have been confirmed dead after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck on Monday, with multiple aftershocks.

He said: “I think it is difficult to estimate precisely as we need to get under the rubble but I’m sure it will double or more,” said Griffiths.

“That’s terrifying. This is nature striking back in a really harsh way.

“It’s deeply shocking … the idea that these mountains of rubble still hold people, some of them still alive.

“We haven’t really begun to count the number of dead.”

He said that a 72-hour period after a disaster was usually the “golden period” for rescues, which has since expired, but that survivors were still being pulled out of the rubble.

“It must be incredibly difficult to decide when to stop this rescue phase,” he said.

Turkey’s president, Tayyip Recep Erdoğan, has warned that looters will be punished after reports of people taking goods in earthquake hit areas.

“We’ve declared a state of emergency,” he said during a visit to the region affected by the earthquake, Reuters reports.

“It means that, from now on, the people who are involved in looting or kidnapping should know that the state’s firm hand is on their backs,” he said.

On Friday he said there had been looting in some areas. It is unclear what incidents of kidnapping Erdoğan was referring to.

The security in the quake zone has come into focus after the Austrian army suspended rescue operations there due to what its spokesperson called “an increasingly difficult security situation”.

The World Health Organization chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, arrived on Saturday in Syria’s quake-stricken city of Aleppo, state media reported.

Tedros “arrived at Aleppo airport to tour some hospitals and shelters with [Syria’s] health minister and the governor of Aleppo”, the official news agency Sana said.

Upon his arrival, Tedros said he was accompanying “emergency medical supplies of around 37 metric tons”.

“We are very happy that we could come with the supplies,” he told reporters at Aleppo airport.

“This is the first supply we are sending.”

He added that the WHO would continue to provide emergency medical services and bring in more emergency supplies necessary for “trauma management”.

“Tomorrow, there will be another round with more than 30 metric tonnes,” he said, according to Agency France-Presse.

He expressed concern over the after-effects of the earthquake, especially the disruption of services.

“People are exposed to diarrhoeal diseases … and other health problems especially mental health problems,” he said.

“We will work together to address the impact of the earthquake, not only the emergency services during the earthquake.”

The death toll in Turkey following Monday’s earthquake has risen to 21,043, according to President Tayyip Erdoğan.

The number of people to have died in Syria is reported to be 3,553, according to the Agence France-Presse, bringing the combined number of deaths across both regions to 24,596.

However, the country’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (Afad) said on Saturday the death toll in Turkey had risen to 20,937, which would bring the combined number of deaths across both regions to 24,596.

The figures can vary depending on the source.

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