Press Centre 2010/03/15: Emergencies and Disasters

Earthquake in Elazığ and Impact on Children

UNICEF Turkey shares the sorrow of the families who have lost their family members or friends during the earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale in Elazığ at 04.32a.m. on March 8, 2010. 41 people have lost their lives and around 74 people have been injured. 18 of the people who lost their lives were children, 8 of whom were at primary education age. Six villages around Karakoçan, the epicentre of the earthquake, particularly Okçular, Yukarıkanatlı and Kayalı have been mostly affected by the quake. UNICEF congratulates the Turkish government and NGOs on the timely and efficient rescue operations.

A rapid assessment mission, composed of two people from the Ministry of National Education and one from the UNICEF education team, visited the earthquake affected areas on March 9, 2010. The team has worked closely with Government officials and other related bodies in the region to do an assessment of the damage caused by the quake and to identify the impact on education and determine what possible contributions UNICEF can make to ensure continuation of educational processes.

Experts have been determining damage to the education institutions, which provide education services to approximately 450 students in the region, and whether the school buildings can continue being used. Depending on the final evaluation of the experts, UNICEF commits herself to provide technical and material support to the schools in need.

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