Earthquake In Turkey: Independent readers give generously

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The Independent Online
READERS OF The Independent have responded generously to this newspaper's appeal for aid for the victims of the earthquake in Turkey.

Launched in the aftermath of the massive quake that has now officially claimed more than 10,000 lives, although the final death toll could be as high as 40,000, the appeal being run in conjunction with the British Red Cross has in just two days helped to raise almost pounds 65,000.

A spokesman for the Red Cross said the agency was being inundated with calls. Since the appeal was launched there have been 1,000 telephone donations and 4,500 postal donations, on average one a minute.

Turkey has been overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster and the money is being spent on emergency medical help for the tens of thousands left injured and homeless in the North-west of the country. The Government also announced more aid to Turkey yesterday.

As the known death toll passed 10,000, Tony Blair said he was "saddened and horrified" by the terrible loss of life and devastation. "The need now is for shelter and medical supplies.

"Tomorrow morning we are therefore sending two flights to Istanbul, one carrying tents and blankets and the other essential medicine."

Britain is giving a grant of pounds 180,000 to the United Nations children's agency, Unicef, in addition to earlier contributions of pounds 530,000 to the Red Crescent and the United Nations.

Two British teams of search and rescue experts, some with dogs, have also been sent to Turkey to try to save lives. "They have worked literally non-stop since their arrival, and have been able to rescue a number of victims," Mr Blair said.

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