The Hong Kong Red Cross said on Wednesday that it would launch a fundraising campaign this week to help victims of Monday's devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria, which claimed more than 7,000 lives and left tens of thousands more without homes or essential services.
Karen Poon, head of the charity's international and relief service, told RTHK's Hong Kong Today programme that the fundraiser would be part of an international drive by the charity to raise more than US$215 million for relief efforts.
"In Hong Kong Red Cross we are already receiving donations especially for those affected in Turkey and Syria so that we can provide the essential material aid, and mobilise our staff to go on site to help them," she told RTHK's Vicky Wong.
"We'll be launching an emergency appeal this week and we hope that we will raise the funds for the essential items for those in need."
Poon said the International Red Cross already had 3,000 staff on the ground in Turkey and Syria, working round the clock to provide ambulance services, helping in the search for survivors and attempting to connect displaced people with their relatives.
She said the fundraising would also help in recovery work, including housing people who had lost their homes in the disaster.
Monday's magnitude 7.8 quake, followed hours later by a second one almost as powerful, toppled thousands of buildings including hospitals, schools and housing blocks.
Winter weather has hampered rescue and relief efforts. Some areas remained without fuel and electricity. (Additional reporting by Reuters)