Death and destruction is left in the aftermath of earthquakes in Turkiye and Syria, while the devastating impact is being felt in Waterloo region and beyond.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed more than 3,400 people Monday morning and toppled thousands of buildings across a large swath of land.

Ugur Akdogan is a resident in Waterloo region. He said he has been glued to his screen, reading and wishing he could be doing more for his home country of Turkiye.

“Trying to hear the good things, but it’s sad. It’s a big thing,” Akdogan told CTV News.

Akdogan said he spoke to his friends in Turkiye earlier today.

“He said his family’s building is demolished and heard that this morning they are safe. They moved to another city. When I called another friend who lives there, his sister is underground right now,” he said.

A Kitchener resident living in Turkiye, five hours away from the quake’s epicenter, said she still felt the impact.

“It sort of woke me up, and I talked to friends who were woken up where we live in Ankara,” said Melissa Balan.

Balan said with the magnitude of resources needed, the country is trying to come together.

“They’re having buses to take people to hospital for blood donations. They’re also collecting clothing and doing food collections in addition to money collection as well,” Balan said.

In 1999 about 18,000 people were killed in a powerful earthquake that hit northwest Turkiye.

The Mennonite Central Committee is in its early stage of starting a fundraiser and mobilizing resources to help those in need in Syria.

“Food and water and perhaps some emergency shelter and then longer time basis we’ll provide trauma support for those who have been through what seems to be another trauma upon trauma in Syria,” said John Head, executive director at Mennonite Central Committee Ontario.

Akdogan is hoping the community in Waterloo region will help with humanitarian efforts.

“Everybody is kind of connected and trying to help each other because it’s a difficult time for everybody,” he said. “It’s a time to be together.”