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UPDATE: Vernon hotel helping victims of devastating earthquake in Turkey, Syria

Quality Inn and Suites held a samosa fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 11
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A woman sits on the rubble as emergency rescue teams search for people under the remains of destroyed buildings in Nurdagi town on the outskirts of Osmaniye city southern Turkey, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. The earthquake that ravaged Turkey and Syria this week offers both lessons and warnings for people in British Columbia as images emerge of the human devastation and costly damage, Canadian seismology experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Khalil Hamra

With thousands dead in the wake of a devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria and many more thousands injured and displaced, a Vernon hotel is looking to leverage local generosity to support the victims.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake destroyed thousands of buildings in Turkey and Syria on Monday, Feb. 6. As of Wednesday, Feb. 15, Al Jazeera reported that over 40,000 people have died in the two countries.

To help ease the burden on the earthquake victims, Vernon’s Quality Inn and Suites hosted a fundraiser Feb. 11, selling samosas with homemade chutney.

“However much money we raise we’re going to match it and all the proceeds are going to be going straight to the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria,” said Vinil Sood, business development associate at Quality Inn and Suites, prior to the fundraiser.

“We thought that this was just going to be a really good opportunity for us to help people in need.”

The hotel raised $262 from the sale of samosas, and the hotel will be adding $1,001 to that sum. The funds will be sent to Doctors Without Borders.

He said the fundraiser saw many people from the community who weren’t staying at the hotel come by and support the cause.

Sood says the community has been generous when the hotel has hosted fundraisers in the past.

He has been reading the news and has been touched by images of the earthquake’s aftermath. It brought to mind a time he experienced a minor earthquake while living in Quesnel.

“I thought I was just spinning, dizzy, but it was just a super minor earthquake and I felt it from my house, and I just can’t imagine what it would be like to go through a massive earthquake right around (Turkey and Syria) and just be living in that area,” he said. “It’s just devastating all around and I just hope that even if it’s just a small impact that we have, at least it will make a difference in somebody’s life.”

READ MORE: Canadian assessment team deployed to Turkey as earthquake rescue efforts close

READ MORE: Summerland Rotary Club provides assistance following Turkey, Syria earthquake


Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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