“My family is suffering” – the worried Roath business owner with relatives in Turkey after the earthquake

HASSAN Kaya, Director of International Food Centre in Roath, still doesn’t know if his family is safe after Monday’s earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

“All of my families have lost their houses and they are stuck. There is no electricity or phone charges.

As he waits for news, he and his friends and family are collecting donations to send to the region.

“So many people need help. We want to help them in any way we can. We want to work with the local community to get blankets and food.

“Money is important but we want to know exactly who to give it to. So once we have people over there, we will send them cash.”

They ‘ve already been inundated with donations and will be converting a nearby building into a make shift donation Centre.

More than 7,000 people are known to have died in the earthquake but the death toll is expected to rise even further. As well as Hassan, more established groups have already been sending donations. The Muslim Council of Wales has been acting as a hub for donations.

Azim Ahmed, General Secretary of the group, says that cash has been the main donation.

“Cash has been the main thing so far. This allows us to quickly get it over there. Money also allows us to try and cover other costs and get other amenities over there

He also says that he has been handling donations from non-Muslim groups.

“Many mosques are well integrated with their local communities so people really have come together . I don’t think this is at all a faith issue. We have had some great donations from churches for example.”

It’s been two days since the earthquake – the death toll is currently estimated to stand at more than 11,000 with many more still missing. Rescue teams and charity workers are continuing to provide food, shelter, and medical assistance to the injured, homeless, and grieving across the region.