Shattered Lives:

The Devastating Effects of Earthquakes on Children in Syria

On the cold night of February 6th at 4:20 am, everything changed for many children in Syria. The earthquake struck, leaving behind a trail of destruction and trauma that would continue to affect their lives in the years to come.

The 7.3 magnitude earthquake was felt across Syria and neighboring countries, causing widespread damage and displacement. For children, the loss of their homes, schools, and communities has been particularly devastating.

In this article, we will present a series of videos featuring children from Syria, each telling their own story of how they are coping with ongoing trauma, anxiety, and fear caused by earthquakes, as well as the ongoing violence and instability of the region. Through these stories, we will explore the devastating impact of earthquakes on children in Syria, the unique challenges they face, and the urgent need for resources and support to help them rebuild their lives.

The moment the earthquake struck

When the earthquake struck in Syria, it sent shockwaves through the region and left many people fearing for their lives. Buildings collapsed, roads were blocked, and chaos ensued as rescue workers scrambled to search for survivors amidst the rubble.

Video 1: Race Against Time

Many children in Syria experienced extreme fear and anxiety during the earthquake, and for some, these emotions have persisted long after the event.

Video 2: My siblings were crying

Video 3: Miraculous Rescue of a Young Girl

This video highlights the miraculous story of a young girl who was rescued after being trapped for 48 hours following the earthquake in Syria. This inspiring tale showcases the resilience and strength of children in the face of adversity

So far, the earthquake’s death toll exceeds 42,000, while over 115,000 were injured in Syria and Turkey. With over 6,500 destroyed building, the massive quake displaced 2.4 million people and affected over 24 million others. Some estimates the economic loss at $ 50-85 billion.

Earthquake, War, COVID-19, and Cholera: Syria's Ongoing Struggle

The children in Syria have been through so much already - war, cholera, COVID-19, and ongoing instability - and for many, this earthquake is just the latest trauma in a long line of adversity.

For some, this disaster has been a particularly stark reminder of the brutal reality of their lives, with half of the children in Syria having known nothing but war.

Certainly. The earthquake in north west Syria caused significant destruction, particularly in the town of Jindires. Buildings were destroyed, and many homes were left uninhabitable.

The infrastructure, including hospitals and schools, was severely damaged. This has left many families displaced and struggling to access basic necessities such as clean water and medical care.

Video 4: When a Child Loses a Parent: Navigating the Trauma of Loss

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, families in Aleppo ran to seek refuge in schools and other safe spaces, as they grappled with the shock and devastation of the disaster.

Video 5: Schools Become Lifeline for Families Seeking Shelter

The impact of the earthquake in Syria has extended beyond physical destruction and loss of life. With schools being destroyed or turned into shelters for families who lost their homes, many children are unable to continue their education.

Video 6: When the Earthquake Stops Education

The fear of returning to an empty school desk can be a daunting experience for many students, particularly those who have suffered the loss of a friend or loved one. Malak is one of these children. The thought of going back to school after the earthquake and sitting at an empty desk without her best friend Fatma is overwhelming for her. The loss of Fatma has not only impacted Malak emotionally but has also made her mother even more fearful for her safety.

Video 7: The Empty School desk

In the midst of the destruction caused by the earthquake, there is a story of hope that has emerged. A young boy, who loves to paint, has been creating beautiful artwork amidst the rubble. Despite the devastation around him, he has managed to find joy in his passion for painting.

Video 8: Little boy draws hope in North West Syria

Many children in Syria experienced extreme fear and anxiety during the earthquake, and for some, these emotions have persisted long after the event. The aftershocks and ongoing instability in the region have only compounded their trauma, leaving them feeling vulnerable and uncertain about their future. The children in Syria need resources and support not only to cope with the immediate aftermath of the earthquake but also to address the long-term emotional and psychological effects of the disaster.

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