A New York City family of four was among the nearly 20,000 who died during the Turkey earthquake.
Burak Firik, 35, his wife Kimberly, 32, and his two children Hamza, two, and Bilal, one, were visiting relatives in Elbistan, Turkey, when the 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Kahramanmaraş Province and Syria.
It was followed with a 7.8 magnitude tremor that struck near the city of Gaziantep, causing hundreds of deaths, including the Firik family, and thousands were injured.
The Firiks, of Corona, Queens, was on the top floor of a five-story building when the natural disaster struck on Monday.
Firik’s father was sitting in a car outside the building when it collapsed with his family inside.
Their family in New York City received updates from the relative and were informed of their passing on Wednesday afternoon as they all huddled inside an apartment together, according to Pix 11.
Burak Firik, 35, his wife Kimberly, 32, and his two children Hamza, two, and Bilal, one, were visiting relatives when the 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, killing them
Filik (far left) had recently quit his job as a software engineer at Amazon to spend more time with his family and to be able to travel
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) honored the family – where Firik was a board member – in a statement, writing: ‘We pray for Allah’s mercy for our brother Burak, his family, and all those who have returned to our Creator. Ameen’
Kimberly was a biology major at City College, while her husband was a graduate student at Columbia University. Firik had worked as a software engineer for Amazon, according to Pix 11, but he had recently quit his job prior to the family going to Turkey for a month.
He reportedly left his job to have more time to spend with his family and travel.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) honored the family – where Firik was a board member – in a statement, writing: ‘We pray for Allah’s mercy for our brother Burak, his family, and all those who have returned to our Creator. Ameen.’
The State Department said on Wednesday that at least three Americans died in Turkey. It is unclear if that number included part of the Firik family.
A total of 19,362 people died in Turkey, while 3.192 died in Syria, according to NBC News.
A video taken in the Güneşli area of Elbistan shows the aftermath of the quake, with multiple buildings at either side of the street left in ruins after it collapsed.
Nearly 20,000 people have died since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck on Monday
The State Department said on Wednesday that at least three Americans died in Turkey. It is unclear if that number included part of the Firik family
The video, taken from the camera of a moving car, shows a building shaking before the others around it collapse. A cloud of dust then fills the screen, with debris showering down. Three civilians can be seen running across the road to safety.
Tremors were felt as far away as Greenland, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland said.
Seismologists said the first quake was one of the largest ever recorded in Turkey. Survivors said it took two minutes for the shaking to stop.
It is already the deadliest natural disaster to hit Turkey since 1939, with the grim casualty milestone coming this evening and UN and WHO experts expecting it to rise further.
The response of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government to the catastrophe has drawn harsh criticism, and tens of thousands of displaced people who escaped the immediate damage of the quakes now contend with bitter winter temperatures and a lack of supplies.
Thousands of others are still trapped between the rubble as rescuers desperately try to save them.
Earlier this week, Australia announced it would give $10million in humanitarian assistance to help response efforts following Turkey’s devastating earthquake.
The assistance will be administered through Red Cross and humanitarian agencies.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese conveyed Australia’s condolences, saying the nation was deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life and devastation unfolding.
A total of 19,362 people died in Turkey, while 3.192 died in Syria
‘All of the world’s thoughts and condolences with the people in this region who are suffering at this time,’ he said.
New Zealand will also provide $1.5million.
Britain joined an international aid effort to help the rescue operation in Turkey.
A team of 76 search and rescue specialists, with life-saving equipment and rescue dogs were deployed this week.
Britain also sent an emergency medical team to assess the situation in Turkey, and will work with the UN to support rescuers in Syria, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said.
Tremors were felt as far away as Greenland, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland said
Thousands of others are still trapped between the rubble as rescuers desperately try to save them
Countries around the world pledged aid and support for Turkey and Syria – including war-torn Ukraine.
Kyiv’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said Ukraine was ready to send rescue workers to Turkey, even as it prepared for further military onslaughts from Russia.
The EU activated its Copernicus satellite system to provide emergency mapping, and mobilised search and rescue teams.
At least 13 EU countries have offered assistance, including Turkey’s historic rival Greece, which is sending a rescuers and doctors.
The US said it would send teams to support search and rescue efforts in Turkey, while rescue teams from Russia were preparing to fly to Syria.
Israel also dispatched teams to Turkey, and said it had approved a request for humanitarian aid for Syria, despite the historic enmity between the countries.
- Here are some options for your next family vacation
- How to Plan a 'Bikepacking' Trip This Summer — and Why It's the Perfect Way to See the U.S.
- Plan in works for 'trip of a lifetime' to back-of-beyond in Manitoba, Canada
- Transit app Moovit rolls out more personalized trip-planning features
- Planning a trip to Legoland New York? Check out these VRBO properties for your visit