Save the Children is deeply concerned for children and their families after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck in the Aegean Sea, affecting the western coast of Turkey, and parts of Greece.
Several buildings have collapsed in the Turkish city of Izmir with emergency crews working to rescue people from the rubble. There have already been reports of several deaths and hundreds of injuries.
Children are especially vulnerable in this situation to psychological distress, which can be made worse if they are separated from their parents and families.
With the Turkish government and rescue teams responding in affected areas, Save the Children stands ready to support in addressing child-specific needs that arise in emergencies such as these, where chaos and confusion will put children at risk of separation and distress.
Sasha Ekanayake, Save the Children's Country Director in Turkey, said:
“We are particularly worried about the situation of children who are hurt and will be shocked and scared as a result of this earthquake. Some may have lost a house, or have a family member who was injured. That is why it is vital that efforts are made to keep children safe and reunite them with family members as soon as the situation permits. The physical and psychological impact of what happened to children must not be underestimated.
“As children and their families are caught in the aftermath, along with the threat of aftershocks and the potential for casualties to climb, Save the Children is monitoring the situation to respond as needed.”
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