MINISTER O'DONNELL APPROVES £200,000 FOR VICTIMS OF TURKISH EARTHQUAKE
Liz O'Donnell, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs with responsibility for Overseas Emergency Aid, has announced an initial grant of IR£200,000 in emergency humanitarian assistance in response to the earthquake in Turkey. The Minister said "While Turkey's civil defence and military are experienced in dealing with such emergencies, the scale of the disaster has stretched resources to their limits. With the death toll rising hourly and the numbers of injured increasing rapidly there is an urgent need for additional medical supplies. Temporary shelter provisions are also required for the thousands left homeless by this disaster. The grant announced today will go towards meeting these needs". The grant announced by the Minister will be allocated to the International Federation for the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
While no official figures on the numbers affected are available as yet. Initial estimates put the death toll at over 3,000, with over 13,000 injured. However these figures look set to rise as search and rescue (SAR) teams continue to locate those trapped in the rubble. Tens of thousands have been left homeless.
In response to a request by the Turkish Red Crescent Society, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent has launched an emergency appeal in support of the Society's emergency relief operation. A Turkish Coordination Council for Relief under the leadership of the Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, has also been established to co-ordinate the rescue and relief operation. The cabinet has declared a state of emergency in the area enabling the state to commander private and public resources to provide help. A number of countries have sent search and rescue teams to the disaster area to aid in the initial rescue operation.
Minister O'Donnell said "I will continue to follow the humanitarian situation closely and a further response by Ireland will be considered once needs assessments have been completed and more detailed information becomes available."