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Devastating Earthquakes Strike Syria and Türkiye


Devastating Earthquakes Strike Syria and Türkiye


Self Photos / Files - UN0777983

© UNICEF/UN0777983/al Sayed/AFP


Hong Kong, 7 February 2023 – Thousands of children and families are at risk after two devastating earthquakes and dozens of aftershocks hit Syria and south-east Türkiye on February 6, 2023.


According to authorities, in the two countries, more than 2,300 people have been killed, including children, with thousands more injured. These numbers are only likely to increase. In Syria, UNICEF is assessing the impact of the earthquakes and preparing to support the humanitarian response in coordination with partners. In Türkiye, efforts are currently focused on search and rescue and UNICEF is coordinating with the Government, and the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency on the emerging needs linked to the wider humanitarian response.


Amid waves of aftershocks — and a second earthquake with a 7.5 magnitude — UNICEF is already on the ground in Syria rushing lifesaving assistance to children and families.


Thousands of homes are likely to have been destroyed, displacing families and exposing them to the elements at a time of year when temperatures regularly drop below freezing and snow and freezing rain are common. Heavy snowstorms have also recently hit parts of Syria and Türkiye, with further sub-zero temperatures forecasted.


It is likely that schools, hospitals and other medical and educational facilities will have been damaged or destroyed by the quakes, further impacting children. Potential damage to roads and critical infrastructure will also complicate search and rescue efforts and the wider humanitarian response.


The initial focus of UNICEF's emergency response is on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), child protection services, nutrition and education. UNICEF is also working to protect unaccompanied children and reunite those who have become separated from their families.


Here in Hong Kong, we appeal to the public to support UNICEF’s efforts to save children and families impacted by the devastating earthquakes in Syria and Türkiye.


Self Photos / Files - UN0777952

©UNICEF / UN0777952/Watad/AFP