WHO activates emergency medical teams in Turkey and Syria

Dr. Mazen Kewara, Turkish director of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), spoke live on CNN from near the earthquake’s epicenter in Gaziantep, where he and his family were sheltering in their car.

Kewara said their car was the safest place for them right now.

“We can no longer use the buildings. Maybe for hours. Maybe until tomorrow. I don’t know.”

Turkey continues to be hit with aftershocks – some nearly as strong as the initial quake – which means it’s not safe to be inside.

“Next to my building, about 200-300 meters away, there is a collapsed building. Many buildings have collapsed in Gaziantep,” Kewara said.

SAMS is a medical relief organization, working in Syria and neighboring countries. But their efforts to provide support will be hampered by damage to buildings.

“We have four of our hospitals badly damaged by the earthquake. We evacuated two,” said Kewara, from Damascus, Syria.

The ongoing aftershocks will make it “very, very, very difficult for us as a humanitarian organization to be able to respond” to those in need.

For now, Kewara and five other people are sheltering in his car, waiting for the shaking to stop.


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