Brother in Syria, sister in Canada, ‘helpless’ after devastating earthquake
Alaa Alakel says the night after major earthquakes struck her home country of Syria was maybe the worst night of her life. She is a student in Toronto and waited sleeplessly by her phone for news from her family back home in Idlib.
Rescue teams continue to search for survivors of the earthquakes that hit southern Turkey and northwest Syria on Monday. It’s the deadliest earthquake in the last decade and, as of Wednesday, the death toll has risen to over 12,000.
Among the hardest hit areas was Idlib province, a rebel-held part of Syria that was home to intense fighting over the last decade of conflict in the region. And the earthquakes are only the latest in a string of humanitarian disasters that have broken apart families and devastated communities.
Today on Front Burner, we’re joined by Alaa Alakel and her brother, Mohammed Alakel. Mohammed spoke to us from his family's home in a camp in Barisha, a village in northwest Syria. And Alaa translated from Toronto.