Houston's Turkish community reacts to quake

October 23, 2011 4:56:31 PM PDT
Houston's large Turkish community reacted Sunday to a powerful earthquake that shook their homeland.

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit eastern turkey on Sunday. Its epicenter was about 12-miles northeast of the city of Van.

More than 100 people were killed and hundreds more were injured as residents fled into the streets, screaming in a panic with buildings collapsing around them.

There are about 8,000 Turkish Americans in Houston. Many of them spent the afternoon trying to find out about loved ones in the earthquake zone.

The Raindrop Turkish House -- a cultural center which just opened on West Bellfort in January -- is gathering as much information as possible.

"For our community members, we did not receive any casualties from our community members. But we have one member whose relatives houses were collapsed, but no injuries or loss in that sense," Mehmet Okumus with the Raindrop Turkish House in Houston said.

The center is starting a financial campaign and will meet Monday to see what kind of additional help may be needed.

They say the prime minister of Turkey has toured the damaged area and American Red Cross is on the ground, but they are asking for prayers for the victims.

Go to www.turkishhouse.org for information on how you can help with the relief efforts.

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