The head of HIA’s Iraq office, Bence Dékány, travelled to Turkey to coordinate the relief operation and to assess the needs and means of future assistance. Returning from Antakya – which was badly hit by the earthquake – he said that 60 percent of the buildings in the provincial headquarters had been destroyed and 90 percent were uninhabitable.

"Together with Support to Life, our local partner organisations we focus on meeting basic needs, providing drinking water and sanitation facilities for survivors huddled in containers and sleeping in the open, and continue to monitor further needs. After consulting with rescue teams and several humanitarians active in the city we have received information that food, warm clothes and blankets are available in sufficient quantities at the moment. Talking to survivors, aid workers and government officials we’ve also confirmed that needs vary from city to city – but containers for sleeping are needed everywhere. Both for those displaced by the earthquake and the rescue teams.”

Bence Dékány also spoke about the heartbreaking human stories he has encountered in the area affected by the natural disaster.

"During the rescue process, if a survivor was found, they were immediately taken to a hospital in a remote town. So there is a lot of uncertainty among survivors looking for their loved ones. Many are warming themselves by campfires in the streets and are also sleeping there, hoping to see their loved ones and relatives once more," said Mr. Dékány about his experiences in Hatay province.

The humanitarian disaster caused by the earthquake continues to create a great need for assistance. Anyone can help by dialling the 1353 donation line from a Hungarian network and donating HUF 500 per call. Donations can be made by credit card via https://segelyszervezet.hu/, or by bank transfer to the donation account number HU 32-11705008-20464565-00000000 with the reference “földrengés”.