Supporting the People of Türkiye

Published on
03/03/2023
Virginia Task Force 1 in Türkiye

 

The recent earthquakes in Türkiye have had a devastating impact to the community in that region. More than 30,000 people have died and millions have been displaced due to the damage caused by the earthquakes and aftershocks.

On Friday, March 3, Northern Virginia elected leaders and officials gathered to launch a fundraising effort organized by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) to collect money to purchase food packages for those impacted by the earthquakes.

 

Speakers at the event included:

  • Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McKay
  • Northern Virginia Regional Commission Chair John T. Chapman
  • Arlington County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Libby Garvey
  • City of Fairfax Mayor Catherine Read
  • Town of Herndon Mayor Sheila Olem
  • Town of Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert
  • Virginia Task Force 1 Member Lt. Andrew Johnson
  • Embrace Relief Virginia Representative Mustafa Akpinar

“Our hearts broke to hear the news of such a profound loss of life in Türkiye following multiple earthquakes. But I’m proud to be a part of a community that rallies together to help those in need both regionally and internationally,” said McKay.

“Northern Virginia residents and businesses have always stepped up to the plate to help those in need. This time is no different. I urge folks to visit the website and donate to provide food to those families tragically impacted by the earthquake,” said Chapman.

“As we arrived in Türkiye, it was clear that the devastation that we encountered was just a fraction of what we were going to see. The warmth and hospitality of the Turkish people was greatly appreciated and thankfully, we were able to successfully help those in need. If you are able to donate, please do so,” said Johnson.

“Sixty to 70 percent of the city was destroyed. Sadly, I personally lost a few cousins and their families. I want to personally thank our local leaders for their support. I am proud that during difficult times, our community comes together to help those in need,” said Akpinar.

 

Virginia Task Force 1

In partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Fairfax County’s urban search and rescue team, known as Virginia Task Force 1, deployed to Türkiye to assist with the earthquake response.

The team reached all communities in the operational area assigned to them by the Government of Türkiye and the international search and rescue coordination mechanism. The team conducted site assessments to determine needs for rescue operations and completed structural and damage assessments to help identify buildings that were likely unsafe to occupy.

The team also provided technical and medical guidance to other teams operating in the same area returning to Fairfax County on Feb. 20. Even though search and rescue operations have ended, the USAID disaster team is still on the ground in Türkiye working around the clock to deliver aid to people in need and to continue saving lives.

How To Help

Donate here and help the Northern Virginia Regional Commission meet its goal of $25,000.

The biggest need right now is shelter and food. A contribution of $45 helps purchase a 30 pound package of food that will be distributed to those in need.

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