Thousands of people have been mobilised in Europe to help victims in Türkiye and Syria after two back-to-back strong earthquakes rocked both countries last week.
Greece was amongst the first countries to send help to Türkiye, where more than 35,400 people have been confirmed dead and tens of thousands injured as of Wednesday.
Five planes with more than 7,500 blankets, 1,500 beds and 500 tents were sent in the first days of the disaster in cooperation with the Turkish Embassy in Athens.
The nationwide appeal earned a massive response from Greeks who rushed to collect medicine, cans of food and other supplies for quake victims.
Several municipalities from all over the Attica region and other parts of Greece have been collecting clothes, food, tents, heating radiators, and several other goods.
The municipality of Kifisia, a northern Athens suburb, stepped up to help people left homeless following the devastating earthquakes.
“A horrifying tragedy in Türkiye and Syria. Thousands of dead and injured. Millions of people are without shelter or basic goods. The battle of the rescue teams to find life under the wreckage is agonizing. Every practical effort of support and solidarity is valuable” said the city’s official website.
“We are by your side and we will do anything to help you,” Katerina Karali, president of Social Welfare of the Kifisia Municipality, who is responsible for this action and organizing the initiative, told Anadolu.
Amid the diplomatic tensions between Ankara and Athens, the devastating earthquake has prompted both nations to revisit their ties with calls for a new era of diplomacy.
Karali spent hours and days managing the items brought by citizens for quake victims.
“The municipality of Kifisia always helps in every call for humanitarian aid when there is a need. I am very moved by the huge response and love of our fellow people who flooded our office with things,” she said.
Karali said people of all ages rushed to the office to bring food, clothes and many other items, once again proving that solidarity between the two nations still exists.
“Aegean is a sea that connects us and not separates us,” she said.
At least 35,418 people were killed and over 105,500 others wounded after the magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes struck southern Türkiye within the space of fewer than 10 hours on February 6, affecting around 13 million people.
The earthquakes, centred in Kahramanmaras, also hit nine other provinces – Hatay, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Malatya, Adana, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa.
Over 5,800 have died in Syria, according to regime media and the volunteers in the opposition-held areas.