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Turkey-Syria earthquake: Islamic Relief amazed by community response

A charity said it was amazed by the community response to the Turkey-Syria earthquake as donations pile up in its warehouse.

More than 19,000 people have died since Monday’s earthquakes in northern Turkey and northern Syria with fears many survivors are still at risk.

At its Birmingham centre, Islamic Relief said the aftermath had been its busiest period for donations.

“It’s just amazing to have communities come together,” said Bashir Mahyub.

The charity’s regional fundraiser said it had received many clothing donations which would be heading to Islamic Relief shops in towns and cities across the UK.

Used and recyclable items are sold and the money raised goes to Islamic Relief causes, including the earthquake appeal.

“This is amazing,” he said, “but right now, the need that is required is medical equipment, hygiene kits, blankets, tents and food.”

Mr Mahyub’s colleague, Salah Aboulgasem, who is from Northfield in Birmingham, has travelled to Turkey to support the charity’s work on the ground.

“I’ve been working for Islamic Relief for 15 years,” he said.

“I’ve been to many war zones, I’ve seen first hand many disasters and this is up there as being one of the worst.

“It’s unbelievable, the scale and severity of damage,” he said.

“Everywhere you look it’s huge and there’s devastation everywhere.”

Mr Mahyub said the scale of the disaster was difficult to comprehend.

“It’s really shocked me,” he said.

“The past 24 hours have been really, really tough,” he added, with the charity fielding numerous calls and collecting dozens of donations.

“But what happens afterwards when you’re driving the car and you have that moment, you start digesting what’s happening, and it’s very, very difficult to comprehend.”

Source : BBC