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Nine-year-old Turkish boy donates his pocket money to earthquake victims

A 9-year-old boy in Türkiye, who survived an earthquake last year, has donated his pocket money to have a hand in relief efforts for his peers in the wake of Monday’s devastating earthquakes in southeastern Türkiye.

Alparslan Efe Demir was heartbroken when he saw the destruction caused by the two powerful quakes in southeastern Türkiye on television.

It was only a couple of months ago that Demir had to live in the tents set up by Türkiye’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) for a while after a magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit the northwestern Duzce province in November.

Sick at heart for people going through tough times, the boy told his mother Sinem Demir that he wanted to send the money in his piggy bank to his peers.

The mother and son visited the Duzce branch of the Turkish Red Crescent and handed over his pocket money to the authorities for them to deliver it to his peers in need.

The boy moved the Red Crescent employees to tears with the letter he wrote for the earthquake survivors.

READ MORE: Live updates: Powerful quakes kill over 3,800 across Türkiye, Syria

“I was very scared when there was an earthquake in Duzce. I had the same fear when I heard about the earthquake in many of our cities. That is why I decided to send the pocket money given by my elders to the children there,” he said.

“It is okay if I do not buy chocolate here. Children there should not be cold or hungry. I will send my clothes and toys to the children there,” he said in his emotional letter.

Early Monday morning, a 7.7 magnitude tremor struck southern Türkiye’s Kahramanmaras province, then about nine hours later, a 7.6 magnitude quake hit rocked the same region, affecting several other provinces, including Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa.

At least 3,549 people were killed and 22,168 others injured in 10 provinces of Türkiye due to the strong earthquakes, according to the latest figures by the country’s disaster agency AFAD on Tuesday.

The earthquake was also felt in several countries in the region, including Syria and Lebanon.

In neighbouring Syria, at least 1,622 people were killed and hundreds injured in the powerful earthquakes centred in southeastern Türkiye, according to figures compiled on Tuesday from the Syrian regime’s Health Ministry and Syrian Civil Defense.

Erdogan declares seven-day national mourning in Türkiye over deadly quakes

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