November 09, 2011

In the wake of the October 23 earthquake in southeastern Turkey, MSF has been working with local organizations to distribute winterized tents and cooking kits in the most affected cities.

After an earthquake struck southeastern Turkey on October 23, MSF teams working in collaboration with local organizations have distributed 2,000 winterized tents and 2,000 cooking kits to 12,000 people living in Van and Ercis, the cities most affected by the quake.

"The population is still suffering aftershocks, and they are very scared of going back to their homes," said Guillem Pérez, MSF emergency coordinator. "Also, it has started to snow, and these people are very worried about the lack of shelter with winter coming. Temperatures are very low at night, the current situation persists, and it will take months before their lives go back to normal."

MSF will soon begin providing psychosocial support through local psychologists and will set up a reference system so that people living in rural areas who need specialized assistance can receive it in the hospitals. National staff training is planned as well.

The pre-existing health system was strong and is therefore responding well to medical needs. However, an MSF team will remain for at least the next two months in order to respond to any needs that may arise after the first phase of the emergency is over.