Massive earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria

Southern Turkey and neighboring Syria were struck by intense earthquakes early on February 6, 2023. According to the United States Geological Survey, the initial magnitude 7.8 tremor landed near the Turkish city of Nurdağı and was felt all the way in Lebanon, Cyprus, and Israel.

death toll has already passed 21,000, over 17,000 of which are from Turkey alone

Shortly thereafter, another magnitude 7.5 earthquake hit, followed by multiple aftershocks. The devastating aftermath is nothing short of horrific and rescue workers have been working tirelessly for days to search for survivors in frigid winter conditions. As of this writing, the death toll has already passed 21,000, over 17,000 of which are from Turkey alone.

These earthquakes were particularly destructive for a few reasons. First, Turkey sits in a giant tectonic vise, making the area somewhat seismically active. However, earthquakes in this area are extremely rare, so when one does hit, it can be much more powerful and destructive.

In addition, many of the buildings in Turkey were not constructed to sufficient infrastructure standards. As a result, low construction quality and negligence of building regulations contributed to the collapse of nearly 5,600 buildings across southeastern Turkey. Even multiple modern constructions inevitably crumpled due to poor construction reinforcements.

In the wake of the devastation, streamers like HasanAbi, have jumped into action to raise funds for those in need.

Twitch streamer HasanAbi raises over $1m

Orchestrating a multi-day fundraising effort, Twitch streamer and left-wing political commentator HasanAbi was able to raise over $1m with his online community for those in need. At the time of this writing, HasanAbi’s earthquake fund has received nearly $1.2m in donations:

Even in the first 15 minutes, HasanAbi and his viewers managed to raise $150,000. In addition, HasanAbi contributed $45,000 towards the fundraiser himself, notably donating $20,000 of that money when his fundraiser was sitting only $20,000 short of the $1m mark. On the day of the quakes, HasanAbi tweeted that he “will do everything I can to help.”

HasanAbi also stated that the funds would not go to government organizations to ensure the money truly gets into the hands of those in need. His chosen charities were Ahbap, CARE Turkey, CARE Syria, and AKUT Association. He also previously stated that he would be working on “creating a streamlined process so that foreign donators can easily fund [Ahbap].”

While HasanAbi was working to raise money for the victims in Turkey, however, some fans tried to trick other streamers into believing his charity was a scam. Twitch streamer iShowSpeed had already donated a few thousand dollars to HasanAbi’s charity before contemplating donating another $50,000. He was swayed from donating more funds, though, after fans trolled him into believing it was all a scam:

This barrage of needless hate didn’t escape the wrath of HasanAbi, and he expressed his distaste live on stream. “It’s so crazy like this is how far motherf**kers go. They stopped [iShowSpeed] from donating $50K…and, worst of all, hundreds of thousands of people who were watching him probably think this is a f**king scam.”

Further efforts from trainwreck and other streamers

Other Twitch streamers banded together to raise money for the rescue and relief efforts across Turkey and Syria. Plenty of big names in the gaming and streaming world contributed money to HasanAbi’s charity fund, including Jacksepticeye ($10,000), Valkyrae ($10,000), Ludwig ($5,000), and CohhCarnage ($5,000). Though Twitch often focuses on the negatives of the platform, it’s energizing to see plenty of popular names contribute to a meaningful cause.

Popular gambling streamer Trainwreck also pledged to donate $150,000 worth of bitcoin to charities that accept cryptocurrency. It is still yet to be confirmed if he donated said funds, but he did state that he was narrowing down his choices to whichever organizations would “most effectively put the funds to use.”

Slots streamer Roshtein also stated that he wishes to help Turkey and inquired on Twitter about which charities accept crypto.