I am devastated by the news of the earthquake that hit Türkiye and Syria this morning. The quake was the worst to hit the region in nearly a century. Homes and entire communities have been wiped out. Thousands of people have already lost their lives, and many more remain trapped in the rubble. My thoughts are with the victims and their families, many of whom were already grappling with brutal losses from the war in Syria, including refugees and their host communities. The United States is committed to assisting in the recovery in any way we can.
To begin those efforts, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), which will work in close coordination with Turkish authorities on the front lines, as well as with our partners on the ground and agencies across the U.S. government. The DART is assessing the situation, identifying priority humanitarian needs, and working to provide search and rescue. We are in the process of deploying USAID Urban Search and Rescue teams from Fairfax and Los Angeles County Fire Departments. These two teams will be part of the USAID DART and will coordinate with Turkish authorities and other responding organizations to provide life-saving assistance.
As rescuers attempt to save those still trapped in the wreckage and families who’ve lost their homes seek refuge, the United States is committed to providing immediate, life-saving humanitarian assistance on both sides of the border to help communities recover from this disaster.