Family, friends and community members in Nova Scotia are concerned for the people of Turkey and Syria after a devastating earthquake struck on Monday.
The death toll continues to climb as search teams scour the rubble left by the 7.8 magnitude quake.
In Kentville, N.S., Saad Zora is desperately working to find his twin sister, Samar, after losing contact with her when the earthquake rocked southeastern Turkey and northeastern Syria.
“It almost feels like we’ve exhausted all measures, but we’re not giving up,” said Zora on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old PhD candidate has been staying in Turkey as part of her research work.
“My sister is an intelligent, ambitious young woman who was pursuing her PhD in anthropology at Duke,” he said.
He said he immediately picked up the phone after learning the city she was staying in had been struck by the powerful quake.
“I started contacting anyone I knew, any mutual friends and I called the Canadian government,” he recalled.
He wants to send someone to the location where she was staying to see if it’s still standing, but doesn’t have the address for the Airbnb rental.
“There’s still more to be done, more corners to look in, and we’re not going to give up.”
Fundraising efforts underway
The Turkish Society of Nova Scotia says many have been impacted by the tragedy locally, and have a desire to help.
“We weighed our options and the most efficient option is to raise donations and directly transfer to Turkey and Syria so they can buy whatever they need there,” said llker Dalgic, a board member with the society.
The society will transfer donations received to a Turkish fundraising platform, which will direct them to regions hit by the quake.
Meanwhile, the founder of Peace by Chocolate, Tareq Hadhad, is also moving to help. Sales from select bars online will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross.
Hadhad hopes relief efforts will aid those living through the ongoing civil war in his home country of Syria.
“It’s not the government that needs help. It’s not the rebels that need help. It’s not any of those. It’s actually the people. The families that are aching. The families that are hurting,” he said.