Syrian sisters living in St. John’s are watching the earthquake rescue abroad
The effects of an earthquake that killed 11,000 in Turkey and northern Syria are being felt thousands of miles away in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The race for rescuers to find survivors after Monday’s devastating natural disaster continues. The death toll is expected to continue rising as rescuers dig through rubble.
The shocking footage was difficult to view, said both Safa and Jamila Nahat – sisters from Syria who have lived with their father in St John’s for eight years.
The Nahats told CBC News they have friends and family in the hardest-hit region, northwest Syria’s Aleppo. They said their family members are fine.
“It’s very hard. Yesterday I was shown all the pics but they say we don’t have internet or electricity to share more pics or videos,” said Jamila Nahat.
“Really, I can’t sleep. I have a headache.
Overcoming a long list of challenges over the past decade, Syria has faced war and poverty as residents flee to safety.
Monday’s earthquake adds a tough road forward, Jamila Nahat said.
“Only in their minds are they reminded of it every day. It’s hard for her,” she said.
In addition, it is winter in Syria and it is difficult to find sanctuary amidst the destruction.
“They have nowhere to live. No house, no place to go and it’s cold,” said Safa Nahat.
“There are no places to save them and some people are still outside the houses because their family or friends are still under the building. They are waiting for you because they want to know if you are alive or dead.”
Both sisters wish for more help from other countries in terms of help and resources. They said there was a lack of heavy equipment to help rescuers continue digging in the rubble and rubble.
Canada is providing $10 million in aid to both Turkey and Syria and also intends to deploy medical and rescue teams. The country is awaiting an assessment from United Nations disaster response teams in the region.
“Marry [like] for someone to get them what they need and all the machines they want to get all the people under the buildings and make it easier,” said Safa Nahat.
“If someone would help them and someone would come, it would be easy. At the moment they are alone, they work by hand, they need something more.”
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