Heartbreaking images of a little girl stuck underneath earthquake rubble while protecting baby brother have circulated on social media.
A devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southern Turkey and northern Syria on Monday (6 February) and the death toll has risen to more than 11,000.
But it’s the tragic images of a young Syrian girl protecting her sibling which have reiterated just how awful the current circumstances are.
The girl was filmed placing her hand over her brother’s head to protect him while trapped under rubble from the earthquake.
Thankfully, the siblings made it out safely as United Nations (UN) representative Mohammad Safa tweeted: “The 7-year-old girl who kept her hand on her little brother’s head to protect him while they were under the rubble for 17 hours has made it safely.
“I see no one sharing. If she were dead, everyone would share! Share positivity.”
Over 30,000 people have been injured, while many others trapped in the rubble with their hopes of survival becoming less and less with each day.
Some of the places devastated by the disaster include Gaziantep and Diyarbakir in Turkey and Aleppo in Syria, but it was felt as far as Cairo, Egypt.
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said 13 million of the country’s 85 million were affected in some way and declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces in order to manage the response.
For the entire quake-hit area, that number could be as high as 23 million people, according to Adelheid Marschang, a Senior Emergency Officer from the World Health Organisation.
“This is a crisis on top of multiple crises in the affected region,” Marschang said at the organisation’s board meeting in Geneva.
Meanwhile in northern Syria, Sebastien Gay, the head of mission in the country for Doctors Without Borders, said health facilities were overwhelmed with medical personnel working around ‘around the clock to respond to the huge numbers of wounded’.
The affected area in Syria is divided between government-controlled territory and the country’s last opposition-held enclave, which is surrounded by Russian-backed government forces.
Turkey is home to millions of refugees from the Syrian civil war.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ‘pledged the UK’s steadfast support’ to President Erdogan during a phone call following the devastating earthquake.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this afternoon, following the devastating earthquakes which struck Türkiye [Turkey] and Syria.
“He expressed his deep condolences for the tragic loss of life and pledged the UK’s steadfast support.
“The Prime Minister confirmed that a 77-strong British search and rescue team arrived in Gaziantep today with specialist equipment and dogs, in response to a request from the Turkish government, and will immediately start work assisting with the rescue effort.”
LADbible Group is donating and raising money to help World Vision provide shelter, food and hygiene kits to support those affected by the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Please donate whatever you can here.