We are deeply saddened by the devastation caused by the earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on 6 February 2023 and in the following days and nights. Tens of thousands of people have lost their lives or are injured, and many more lost their homes when buildings collapsed or are unsafe as a result of the damage. Emergency aid is urgently needed, and we encourage everyone to support the organizations providing humanitarian aid in any way you can.
As structural engineers, it is particularly devastating to see the immense destruction of structures and IABSE is determined to make a difference within our mission, field of activity and expertise. As an Association, we are resourceful and valuable donations include making our knowledge, time as well as financial support available to those in need.
Actions should be well planned to provide the assistance that is most required in Turkey and Syria – also in the long-term. In addition, such initiatives may potentially benefit other regions that are at risk of earthquakes while suffering from deficient structures.
The IABSE Symposium in Istanbul, 26-28 April 2023, will now have special sessions arranged to share available information on the earthquakes and plan what IABSE as an association can do to become an active partner in mitigating the effects of similar seismic events in the future. Many leading international experts will be present at the Symposium, and this is an opportunity for everyone with an interest to connect and contribute.
We also feel the need to provide immediate concrete support to the affected populations. Therefore, we are initiating a fundraiser on the website to support the emergency efforts in Turkey and Syria. We will transfer all the funds received by IABSE by 31 March 2023 to the Swiss Red Cross, directly involved in the management of the most pressing needs. Swiss Red Cross is well established in responding to disasters and is in the best position to reach people on the ground. We will provide details of how to donate on the IABSE Homepage, and we will keep you informed of the progress of the fundraising campaign.
Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go to the people of Turkey and Syria during this difficult time. We want to ensure that our association is present and actively involved in mitigating the effects of this tragedy.
We are confident that this initiative will receive the support of our members.
On behalf of IABSE signed by
Tina Vejrum (President) and Tobia Zordan (Chair of the Technical Committee)