This is an urgent appeal from White Helmets volunteer Ismail Alabdullah who is responding to the huge earthquake that has hit northern Syria. Donate to the emergency response now.
Over 780 civilians are confirmed to have died already this morning in Syria in a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that has toppled houses in every city and village across northern Syria and southern Turkey. Thousands are still stuck under the rubble as I write to you.
I am one of 3000 White Helmets volunteers on the ground searching for survivors and pulling the dead from collapsed buildings. We urgently need your support to respond to this disaster, to find survivors and transport hundreds of injured people to hospital in freezing snow and rain.
We are in a race against the clock. Please stand with the people of Syria and the first responders and give what you can to help rescue people from this earthquake disaster
I woke up to the earthquake shaking our whole house. My three daughters and I survived but my neighbors did not. Just a few meters from our house, fifteen other people were killed, and nearby I saw five buildings beside each other collapse. Thankfully my White Helmets team members were able to save a mother and her child from that site, but the death toll across Syria is expected to rise as hundreds of families are still trapped.
All our White Helmets teams are working full capacity to save everyone we can, but with our limited resources, this is a herculean task. That’s why we urgently need your support and for the international community to act quickly to provide resources and medical care for injured people who have lost their homes.
We urgently need more lifting equipment to respond to all the incidents and fuel to transport the injured. Several hospitals buckled in the tremors and the health system here is already severely depleted after years of deliberate attacks by Russia and the Syrian regime. Hundreds of people have been made homeless and we are rushing to set up emergency shelters as years of bombing have left full neighborhoods at risk of collapsing.
The situation is very difficult but we as White Helmets promise our people here in northern Syria that we are doing our very best. Our teams are still trying to retrieve whole families from destroyed buildings several stories high, working at each site across northern Syria, but the magnitude of this earthquake exceeds our capacity to respond and we desperately need international assistance.
Please give what you can to support the emergency earthquake response as we rush to save lives
We are all heartbroken, and many of my fellow volunteers are searching for their own family members while responding to the emergency. The people of Syria are already traumatized by over a decade of war, humanitarian crisis, and multiple displacements. Please stand with us as we respond to this disaster.
Ismail Alabdullah, White Helmets volunteer