Turkey Earthquake Relief Efforts Underway

Turkey Earthquake Relief Efforts Underway

By Richard Nations, MODR Public Information Officer

The nation of Turkey was rocked by the series of significant quakes on February 6 which registered at 7.8 and 7.5 on the Richter Scale. The quake center was in south Turkey near the city of Kahramanmaras. Aftershocks could be felt in Israel, more than 600 miles away. 

According to Reuters news service as of February 24th the death toll stood at 43,556.

A volunteer team from Missouri is now on-site in Turkey and they communicated back to say:  “Yesterday we drove three hours into one of the hardest hit areas to install a community water filter system.  Along the route we saw some  buildings down and cleanup had begun.  As we entered the city and drove to the community center we saw a few damaged buildings.  We were graciously received by the people gathered at the tent city and community center.  Most didn’t speak English, but they cheerfully welcomed us. 

We met with the Turkish site coordinator and began assessing the situation and their needs.  Water pipes had frozen and cracked in the building, so unfiltered water was being used for cooking. We went in with our translators and followed the pipes with our hosts (to assess damage). Others on our team went into the tent city to greet those who had lost everything, in most cases.

One of our volunteers had to dig deep into his collection of parts to find fittings that could connect US filters to Turkish pipes.  Several local guys were watching intently as our volunteer tried different piping configurations.  A local guy who said he was a curtain maker jumped right in to help.  He was quite the handyman, but he loved Teflon tape.   

Finally all the connections were made and it was time to pressurize the system.  Success. Ten minutes later tests showed the water to be drinkable. Success!”

All names and locations have been removed from this account for security purposes.  

For those who would like to give to support Turkey relief efforts, go to www.modr.org/give or mail a check to Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief, 400 E. High St., Jefferson City, MO 65101