The relief service of the Order of Malta for humanitarian aid, Malteser International, will provide 50,000 Euros from its emergency fund for the people hit yesterday by the severe earthquake in the east of Turkey. To date, some 270 people have died and more than 1,100 have been injured, and thousands are sleeping outside in freezing conditions. In close cooperation with local partner International Blue Crescent, Malteser International will distribute blankets, food packages and baby food, hygiene kits as well as wooden ovens.
The emergency response will focus on the city of Ercis where many buildings have been destroyed, and three nearby villages. Ercis, with its 70,000 inhabitants, was the epicentre of the earthquake which measured 7.2 on the Richter scale. ‘The situation is chaotic. The people who lost their houses do not know where to stay. Their makeshift temporary tents will not withstand the heavy rains, the snow and the cold. The situation will become even worse in the next days and nights with temperatures of minus 1 to 10 degrees Celsius’, reports Ingo Radtke, Secretary General of Malteser International.
In addition, it is planned to start a hot meal kitchen in Ercis to serve around 1,000 people on a daily basis. ‘It will probably also become necessary to establish a psychosocial treatment centre’, says Radtke.