The Coca-Cola Foundation has announced a $1 million gift to the Turkish Red Crescent Society for emergency relief efforts in the eastern part of the country, which was struck by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake over the weekend.
The gift will enable the Turkish Red Crescent Society to provide immediate relief efforts to survivors in Van and Ercis and help rebuild elementary schools that were destroyed by the quake and its aftershocks. The company also announced that its bottling partner in Turkey, Coca-Cola Içecek, has shipped several tractor-trailers of bottled water for distribution in the affected areas, and that local employees in Van have launched a fundraising campaign in support of the Red Crescent.
The death toll from the quake has risen to more than 460, BBC News reports, and aid agencies working in the affected areas are warning that "hundreds, possibly thousands" of people remain trapped under toppled buildings. In response, several donor nations have stepped up with assistance. They include Japan, which committed $400,000 to support relief and recovery efforts, and Israel, which pledged to send mobile homes to help house those displaced by the disaster.
"We are deeply saddened by this tragedy," said Coca-Cola Company chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent. "We would like to express our condolences and sympathies to the families of those who lost loved ones and wish quick recovery to those injured. We're working at the local level with our system to ensure the immediate needs of those impacted are met."