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Türkiye and Syria earthquake – support for staff and residents

Millions of people have been affected by the devastating earthquake that hit Türkiye and Syria in the early hours of 6 February 2023.

Authorities have confirmed over 35,000 deaths. Thousands of buildings have collapsed and transport, water, sewerage, and power systems have also been destroyed. People are living without clean water, food, or shelter in wintery conditions.

Large earthquakes are almost always followed by small earthquakes called aftershocks. More than 100 aftershock earthquakes have occurred since the initial earthquake in Türkiye and Syria, and more are expected in the coming months.

Frances O’Callaghan, NHS North Central London Integrated Care Board Chief Executive Officer, says: “We are all shocked and saddened by the Türkiye -Syria earthquake disaster.

“I would like to extend my sincere condolences and sympathy to everyone affected by this tragedy. For all of our colleagues and residents who are from Türkiye or Syria, or still have friends and family there, I want you to know that you are in our thoughts.”

In North Central London, we have a very diverse community, and many members of our community from this region will be closely watching the rescue efforts unfold. We know this will be a sad and worrying time for many of you and we want to remind everyone that local mental health support is available and can be accessed here.

The Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office helpline is available for anyone who wants to know the whereabouts of loved ones in the area. You can contact them on 020 7008 5000. You can also contact the British Embassy in Türkiye at +90 312 455 3344.

If you’d like to show your support for the people of Türkiye and Syria, there are a number of charities that have set up emergency fundraising appeals and are working to provide support to those in need.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) charities and their local partners are among the first responders, working with locally-led relief efforts in Türkiye and Syria. Immediate priorities are search and rescue, medical treatment for the injured, shelter for those who have lost their homes, heaters for spaces and winter kits with blankets, and warm clothes, and ensuring people have food and clean water. 

You can find out more and donate on the DEC website.