Thai family grieves after daughter killed in Turkey earthquake

Mother grieves daughter killed in Turkey earthquake, photo by Amarin TV.

A Thai family is grieving after their daughter was killed in the recent massive earthquake in Turkey.

The earthquake that struck Turkey on Monday, February 6 killed a young Thai woman, 29 year old Nong Dao. Nong Dao was found under the ruins of a building in Iskenderun, a city affected by the earthquake disaster. The Thai embassy in Turkey has been working closely with the Turkish authorities to bring her body back to her hometown in the northeastern Chaiyaphum Province.

The news of Nong Dao’s death has left her family in a state of shock and grief. Her mother, 56 year old Boonchu, and father, 53 year old Ken Hom, told Amarin TV that their daughter was the pillar of the family. Nong Dao had been working as a masseuse in Jordan for over five years before moving to Turkey to work after the Covid-19 situation started to improve. Nong Dao sent money home regularly, Boonchu said.

Boonchoo said that before learning that Nong Dao had died, she had had a dream that Nong Dao returned home as a small child.

Nong Dao’s death has left a huge void in her family’s life. Her mother is pleading with the government to help bring her daughter’s body back to her hometown in Chaiyaphum Province so that she can receive a proper funeral and be laid to rest near her loved ones. The family is hoping for the government’s support in this difficult time and wants Nong Dao’s body to be returned as soon as possible.

According to the latest numbers from CNN, over 15,000 people have been killed, and tens of thousands injured after the 7.8 magnitude quake and its powerful aftershocks rocked Turkey and northern Syria on Monday. The quake toppled hospitals, apartment blocks, and buildings.

The cold weather conditions have seen rescuers struggle to reach some of the worst-hit areas. A reported lack of heavy equipment and resources has combined with destroyed roads to make it very difficult for rescue workers to do their jobs.

Schools, hospitals, and other medical and educational facilities have likely been damaged or destroyed, compounding the impact on children. In addition, potential damage to roads and critical infrastructure is likely to complicate search and rescue efforts and the wider humanitarian response.

UNICEF Thailand has launched an emergency appeal to the Thai public, calling for people to help provide urgent support to the affected communities. UNICEF is working closely with the governments of Turkey and Syria to assess the situation and respond to emerging needs. In Turkey, the efforts are primarily focused on search and rescue, and UNICEF is coordinating with the government and the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency on the humanitarian response.

Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation also announced on Tuesday that it will deploy a 20-member Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team to Turkey.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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