Télécoms Sans Frontières sends first team to earthquake zone
The industry’s aid charity, Télécoms Sans Frontières, is despatching a team to Turkey today to provide assistance following yesterday’s earthquake.
Members of the initial team (pictured) were preparing to leave for the site of the two powerful and deadly earthquakes – magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 – that occurred in southern Turkey and northern Syria.
Monique Lanne-Petit, director of TSF, told Capacity last night: “We’re mobilising all of our contacts. We’re in contact with UN agencies and other NGOs. A team will get to Turkey tomorrow, and we’ll have a better idea of the needs once on site.”
This morning’s reports suggest the death toll has already reached 5,000, with many buildings destroyed. The United Nations has reported that its work has temporarily halted because of damage to roads and other infrastructure.
The TSF team are making their way to the Turkish city of Gaziantep, at the heart of the affected area, and are expected to arrive on Tuesday afternoon, said Lanne-Petit.
The charity, which is supported by many organisations in the industry, including Capacity, specialises in providing telecoms support to aid organisations in disaster areas, but also in providing facilities so that people affected by those disasters can contact family members to let them know they’re alive.
Some years ago TSF did have a project in Gaziantep, teaching children who were refugees from the war in Syria. But, as we reported in April 2020, it had to suspend operations in its existing schools there because of Covid-19 – but it replaced them with distance learning systems.
“We don’t have teams dedicated to this project any more,” said Lanne-Petit. “We maintain contact with them, but as you can imagine, they’re very busy right now.”
TSF is updating its supporters on its work in the earthquake zone on its blog.
Capacity readers can support the work of TSF by making a donation in euro, US dollars or British pounds, here, via Paypal.
TSF’s industry supporters include Inmarsat, Eutelsat, AT&T, PCCW Global, Thales, Digital Bridge, Exa Infrastructure, Evox Trading and the IT Cup – plus, for many years, Capacity Media.