Student urges help for quake victims

Iman Alrashid, Copy Editor

Thousands of people have lost their lives, and thousands more have been injured in a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the Turkey and Syria borders. This earthquake was the strongest earthquake to hit the region in 100 years.
Homes, buildings and essential infrastructure have been destroyed. Buildings and homes are unsafe, with people stranded outside in freezing temperatures. Children and adults need urgent support to access food, shelter and warm clothing.
Oznur Gulsan, a Turkish student at Madison College, implores all Madison college students and staff to help people that lost their families, their beloved ones, houses and everything they own.
“It’s bad out there. People are living in the street in this freezing weather. They lost everything,” Gulsan said.
Gulsan’s family and friends were safe, but thousands of people are still seeking shelter and food besides their loss of beloved ones under the debris.
“My family lives in Istanbul, away from where the earthquake happened. But what about the others? They are human too, just like me, and they need help, which is what I care about,” Gulsan said.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the initial earthquake struck the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep, roughly 150 miles away from the Turkey-Syria border, at 4:17 a.m. local time at a depth of about 11 miles.
The aftershock was expected following the large earthquake, but they were as powerful as the earthquake itself. The aftershocks occurred close to where the original earthquake happened and are due to the fault readjusting after the sudden slip.
People in Syria and Turkey barely overcame the sadness from the first earthquake when they subtend a new earthquake on the evening of Feb. 20. A 6.3-magnitude tremor hit Turkey’s southern Hatay province near the Syrian border.
Between desperation and hope, Gulsan did not give up; she found a way to help people who needed a miracle to survive.
Gulsan teamed up with the Madison Association of Turkish Students to support people in Turkey and Syria,
“We collect new products. Blankets, clothes, toys and anything could help. And send them to the Turkish Embassy in Chicago, and the Turkish Airline will ship everything to Turkey,” Gulsan said.
Thousands of people remain trapped under rubble and those who have survived struggle to meet their basic needs.
“Everyone must have something to offer; even sending thoughts and prayers would help,” Gulsan said.
The incident response team has been overwhelmed as thousands are injured, missing or dead. Thousands already need humanitarian assistance. The need to project several types of economic impacts from this earthquake, including the financial losses resulting from destroyed or severely damaged buildings and other structures and the economic losses due to disruption of the business interruption, loss of revenue and increases in expenses for the public sector, and losses of individual and household income because of injury, death or job interruption, the loss was colossal.
“Everything is gone… everything is gone; it’s a disaster. Even one dollar donation will make a difference,” Gulsan said.
Students and staff who wish to help are encouraged to donate to the Turkish Philanthropy Funds or Doctors Without Borders USA.