February 12, 2023 | 4:50 p.m
An anonymous donor gave a staggering $30 million to help victims of two powerful earthquakes that devastated Turkey and Syria, leaving more than a million displaced and tens of thousands dead.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced Saturday that the donor entered Turkey’s embassy in the United States to make the hefty donation as the death toll from the tremors surpassed 33,000.
“Deeply moved by the example of an anonymous Pakistani who entered the Turkish Embassy in the US and donated $30 million to earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.” explained Sharif.
“These are such glorious acts of philanthropy that enable humanity to triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds.”
The natural disaster, which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has described as the “disaster of the century”, shook southeastern Turkey and northern Syria last Monday. The original 7.8 magnitude tremor was followed hours later by a 7.5 magnitude tremor.
Turkey has reported 29,605 deaths so far, while the total number of deaths in Syria has been reported at 3,553. The death toll in the rebel-held region of the country reached 2,166, the White Helmet rescue group said, and government-held parts of the country totaled 1,387, though that grim figure hasn’t been updated for days.
The $30 million donation comes as the Pakistani government formed a committee to raise money and supplies for earthquake victims, Anadolu Agency reported. Turkey’s state-run outlet reported that the funds and items would be sent to the two countries in a timely manner.
More than 80,000 people were reported injured as rescue workers were still pulling survivors from the rubble. The death toll was also expected to rise as more bodies are found under the rubble. More than 1 million are homeless.
Officials in Turkey have issued arrest warrants for about 130 people accused of shoddy construction of buildings that collapsed on residents during the violent shaking. However, the country’s building codes were rarely enforced in the run-up to the fatal event.
With mail wires