Local humanitarian organizer reacts to deadly quakes in Turkey, Syria

Earthquake aftermath in Turkey
Earthquake survivors spend the night as they sit around a fire in front of a collapsed building on February 06, 2023 in Iskenderun Turkey. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Gaziantep, Turkey, in the early hours of Monday, followed by another 7.5-magnitude tremor just after midday. The quakes caused widespread destruction in southern Turkey and northern Syria and were felt in nearby countries. Photo credit (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Syrian American doctor in the Chicago area is reacting to the deadly earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Dr. Zaher Sahlool is president and co-founder of MedGlobal, a humanitarian organization based in southwest suburban Chicago Ridge that provides emergency response and health programs worldwide.

Things are desperate where the quakes hit, he says:  "People are using their bare hands to pull out victims from under the rubble,” Sahlool said.

When things go bad, people step up, he added.

“People are generous, and I think in general natural disasters and earthquakes generate more sympathy with the victims than wars,” he said.

Dr. Sahlool said he hopes the emergency relief efforts will be followed by long-term solutions in Syria.

"That's the most difficult task. Unless we put pressure on our administration to make Syria a priority and ending this crisis, politically, then things will continue to get worse over there and we will have disaster after disaster,” he said.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: (Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images)