After the 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes that occurred in Kahramanmaras on February 6, thousands of buildings were destroyed, and the number of dead and injured citizens continues to increase with each passing hour. While search and rescue efforts continue in the disaster area covering 10 provinces, aid continues to pour in to earthquake victims and teams not only from Türkiye but from all over the world.
A statement regarding the earthquake, which is described as the 'disaster of the century', came from US President Joe Biden. Biden started his speech by saying that the prayers of the American people are with those affected by earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, and said, "This is one of the worst earthquakes in the region in over 100 years."
Biden stated that they mourned the loss of life and said that it was incredible to watch the bodies of earthquake victims being pulled from under the rubble heaps. "The earthquake was incredibly strong, there were significant aftershocks and a second earthquake," said Biden, noting that his thoughts are with those affected by this tragedy.
Biden said that he called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan right after the earthquake and said that the USA offered its full support, including search and rescue teams, to NATO Ally Türkiye. President Biden said that the US Agency for International Development and the US military in Europe are also ready to help in the quake-hit region in Türkiye.
Biden stated that the USA also helped those affected by the earthquake in Syria through humanitarian aid organizations and stated that they started aid activities from the first day. Biden said that in Syria "whoever controls the area" the United States is one of the top donors in saving human lives.
"We are firm in our commitment to support the people of Türkiye and Syria in time of need," said President Biden.
In the statement made by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), it was reported that an additional $85 million in aid will be provided within the scope of the urgent humanitarian aid needs in Türkiye and Syria, which were affected by "the worst earthquake to hit the region in nearly a century".
"Our top priority is to accelerate search and rescue operations for those trapped under the rubble," the statement said, with USAID's Disaster Relief Response Team (DART) taking action a few hours after the earthquake.