The death toll recorded in Turkey and northwestern Syria surpassed 29,000 on Sunday.
The first batch of mobile homes from Qatar is being deployed as shelters for people affected by one of the region’s worst earthquakes.
The 10,000 mobile homes – cabins or caravans – were part of the relief efforts for individuals affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, which Doha announced it was giving last week. The mobile homes were previously utilised as accommodations for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The transitional accommodations were always planned to be donated as part of the 2022 World Cup legacy plans. However, in light of the dire requirements in Turkey and Syria, Doha made the decision to transport the cabins and caravans to the people affected by Monday’s natural disaster.
“Within the framework of the continuous Qatari efforts to contribute to relieving the quake-affected people in Syria and Turkey, the State of Qatar has allocated 10,000 mobile homes that will be transferred to the affected areas,” the Gulf state’s foreign ministry said at the time of decision.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck early on Monday in southern Turkey and northwestern Syria, followed by several aftershocks.
As it stands, the death toll surpassed 29,000 in both Turkey and Syria as rescue efforts continue with little hope of finding any further survivours.
Turkey recorded at least 24,617 deaths, while more than 4,500 casualties were reported in Syria.
Just hours after the earthquake, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani held a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which he expressed his condolences to the people of Turkey.
Immediately, Qatar quickly dispatched a search and rescue team from Lekhwiya – Qatar’s internal security force – after the earthquake occurred and donated tonnes of much-needed aid.
Qatar’s amir ordered the launch of an air bridge to Turkey fully equipped with field hospitals, relief aid, and tents among other essential rescue equipment.
Doha News was on the ground as the Lekhwiya team joined international rescue operations in hopes of detecting signs of life under the rubble.
“We need to work slowly because it’s very dangerous, as any moment could lead to collapse,” Qatar’s Lekhwiya forces told Doha News on the site of one recovery mission during the weekend.
The amir also donated QAR 50 million ($14 million) on Friday to earthquake victims on live television during the Oun and Sanad campaign.
The campaign successfully gathered QAR 168,015,836 (around $19 million).
Sheikh Tamim met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Sunday as the first leader to visit Turkey following last week’s deadly earthquakes.
The visit signifies a “remarkable message of solidarity” from the Gulf state, said Ankara’s ambassador to Doha Mustafa Goksu to Qatar’s news agency.