Muslim community in Middlesbrough raise more than £20k for Turkey and Syria earthquake crisis

A muslim community in the North East have raised more than £20,000 to send to the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

People at Middlesbrough Mosque collected donations at Friday prayers.

It's hoped the funds will help aid workers and charities distribute much needed food and water and also provide shelter.

Spokesman for the Mosque, Najabat Ramzan, said: “I can't describe it to you. I was in tears.

"I was sat with my wife and when you see little kids pulled out of the rubble, you know, that could be us. We're sat here, it could happen to anybody.

"It's just something that you can't predict. It's nobody's fault, it's just a natural thing.

"I was in tears, you know. It makes you do something. You want to do something, it motivates you.

"The kids are looking at you and saying are you going to do something? Are you going to help us or are you just going to sit there on TV and feel sorry for us?"

A powerful 7.8 magnitude quake rocked south-eastern Turkey and northern Syria on Monday 6 February at approximately 4am.

The tremors from the earthquake, which was centred about 60 miles from the Syrian border, just north of the city of Gaziantep, were felt as far away as Cairo in Egypt.

Less than ten hours later, at about 1:30pm local time, another earthquake hit around 80 miles from the first epicentre.

Turkey’s disaster management agency said more than 19,300 people had been confirmed killed in the disaster so far in Turkey, with more than 77,000 injured.

More than 3,300 have been confirmed killed in Syria, bringing the total number of dead to more than 22,000. Aid workers say they're in desperate need for Medical supplies, particularly in Syria.

Haji Jaber, from the Islamic Society of Cleveland, said: “The money that we spend at the moment is primarily going to be spent on shelter and food and blankets and clothing.

"I mean we've got a lot of clothing and blankets donated as well, specifically. The problem that occurs then is the logistics of getting it there, where money, it's easier to get there a lot quicker.”

For one worshipper at the Mosque, it's been moving to see everyone pull together to help his homeland, but he's worried about those closest in Syria.

Yaseen Alahj said: “All people like my family, in both countries, whether Syria or Turkey, I have many friends in there, I have many relative in there, some of them affected straight away by this tragic earthquake.

"I hope all will be given relief and they can rebuild everything that the earthquake destroyed.”

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