Londoner in Turkey just days before earthquake rallies to support those in need

Click to play video: 'Canada looking at how to best help Turkey, Syria following devastating earthquakes: Trudeau'
Canada looking at how to best help Turkey, Syria following devastating earthquakes: Trudeau
WATCH: Addressing the House of Commons on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is "working with partners in the region and around the world" to find out how to best help Syria and Turkey, following the deadly earthquakes in those countries. – Feb 6, 2023

A resident of London, Ont., who was near the epicentre of the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria only days before is hoping community members can rally to help those in need.

Kamala Shiriyeva was on a historical guided tour visiting parts of Turkey last week, just a few days before the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit. After seeing the coverage of the devastation and anguish the earthquake has brought, Shiriyeva says they need all the help they can get.

“We are stronger together, so please get together to help out,” said Shiriyeva, director of the London chapter of the Azerbaijani-Turkish Association.

“Some of them have nothing now.”

Read more: Turkey earthquake: More than 2,600 dead as Trudeau says Canada ‘stands ready’ to help

More than 2,600 people in Turkey and Syria are believed to have died from the earthquake, with thousands more injured and missing.

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Click to play video: 'Powerful earthquake rocks Turkey and Syria, killing thousands'
Powerful earthquake rocks Turkey and Syria, killing thousands

Among the locations Shiriyeva visited on the tour was the 2,000-year-old Gaziantep Castle, which was heavily damaged in the quake, according to the Associated Press.

“It is devasting, the place that I was and the amazing people,” Shiriyeva said.

Read more: More than 1,300 killed after powerful earthquake rocks Turkey, Syria

Shiriyeva says she has spoken with multiple people in London who have family in Turkey and have been trying to get in touch and confirm their safety.

“Some of them are good, some of them have had their homes destroyed,” Shiriyeva said.

Shiriyeva added it is especially hard for those who are far away from their families and have not been able to get concrete details.

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“The pain becomes harder, it hits harder, our imagination is much stronger than the reality,” added Shiriyeva.

For those wishing to help, Shiriyeva says money can be sent to the Federation of Canadian Turkish Association through

Money from that organization is being directed to AFAD and AKUT, a non-government organization involved in search and rescue in Turkey associated with the United Nations.

“It’s a natural disaster, it’s not man-made. We need to get together to support.”

Corus Entertainment, the parent company of Global News, is supporting the Humanitarian Coalition in its appeal to help victims of the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Donations can be made online

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