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Donegal aid worker in Turkey 20.02.23

A DONEGAL aid worker has described the devastation caused by the recent earthquakes in southern Turkey where he is part of the emergency response.

Paul Carr from Cranford, whose sister is senior Donegal footballer Niamh Carr, flew to the earthquake zone just days after the disaster as part of an emergency response team with the humanitarian organisation Concern Worldwide.
Paul Carr (centre) in southern Turkey with his Concern colleagues.
He was working in Rwanda when the 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude earthquakes struck in parts of Turkey and Syria on Monday, February 6. The death toll is currently over 46,000 people and millions have been left homeless. “I didn’t know what to expect, but the absolute scale of the devastation is just hard to comprehend,” said Paul.

“The size of the earthquake zone worst impacted in Turkey is roughly the length and breadth of Ireland. It is from top to bottom the distance from Letterkenny to Cork City. So many people have died, are injured or left homeless. It’s just so tragic.

“Millions of people are affected and what happens next is a huge question. You can just imagine how terrible it would be if an earthquake like this hit Ireland.”
Paul Carr (right) with Concern's emergency operations director Ros O'Sullivan in Turkey.
Paul has been working from Concern’s office in Sanliurfa, a building deemed to be structurally safe, where he also sleeps at night on a couch. “The office had a lot of staff who had nowhere else to go. From where I am currently located, there are a number of buildings that have collapsed,” he said.

“The vast majority of people are sleeping in tents and community centres and some in cars. Many people went through a lot of trauma too and scared to go into buildings, which is completely normal and understandable.

“I am in awe of my own colleagues here and of the first responders and the countless survivors who are doing what they can to survive and support each other. I have been keeping in touch with family back home. My mother says she doesn’t watch the news so much and waits for dad to give updates, but I am fine and just honoured to be here to do what I can to help.”

Concern launched an emergency appeal for Turkey and Syria and urges anyone who would like to support it to go to www.concern.net or to call 0818 410 510.
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