Social Media assisting Turkey earthquake victims

In light of the recent 7.2 magnitude earthquake that ripped through the country of Turkey, bringing with it complete carnage, a rising death toll of which could be 1,000 with many left homeless, its been asked whether enough had and is being done for victims. Here at OSM, we have spoken about how social media, i.e. using sites such as Twitter and Facebook, is in fact helping the cause.

A journalist by the name of Erhan Celik who works for Turkey’s Kanal 7 TV station, and using the idea from another of Admet Tezcan, decided to take up the challenge of helping those who have lost their homes. By turning to Twitter as guardian.co.uk reported and asking his 22,000 followers whether they had in fact got spare accommodation to help quake victims, some 17,000 emailed him from using a special Twitter hashtag #ÊvimEvindirVan.

In response to the emails he said, “There are 17,000 mails in my inbox. I’ll send them all to the Istanbul governorate. I thank you all in the name of earthquake victims.” These have been passed on to the appropriate authorities, with a 24-hour hotline now set up for accommodation enquiries.

As well as this, Twitter’s presence has also been key, with three mobile phone companies joining in and allowing people to text and call out at no cost, and rival site Facebook allowing its users to share emergency numbers and instructions of where important aid relief can be sent.

From this, its plain to see that social media does play an important role in today’s society, despite sites such as the above experiencing criticism at times.

With mother nature seemingly testing us every now and then, will the introduction of social media help us reach out to those in need?