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South Koreans extend helping hand to earthquake-damaged regions

Feb. 9, 2023 - 17:47 By Lim Jae-seong
Rescuers struggle to find people trapped under rubble in Iskenderun, southeastern Turkey, on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

Celebrities, corporations and ordinary citizens of South Korea are rallying to help Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the earthquakes.

Celebrities including Lee Hyeri of the K-pop girl group Girl’s Day and actor Yoo Inna donated to people affected by earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Lee donated 50 million won ($40,000) to UNICEF’s emergency campaign for children in the earthquake-stricken area, according to her agency Creative Group Ing. Comedian Lee Yong-jin, also known as “Turkish ice cream man,” also gave 30 million won for Turkey and Syria, according to the Korean Red Cross.

Volleyball player Kim Yeon-koung and soccer player Kim Min-jae, who have both played in Turkish leagues, also appealed to citizens to donate to Turkey on their Instagram accounts.

South Korean producers of construction equipment are also pitching in. The Doosan Group, with their construction equipment maker the Doosan Bobcat, is to offer $1 million worth of equipment. HD Hyundai of Hyundai Heavy Industries is to send 10 mid-sized excavators.

Hyundai Motor Group is offering a 50 percent discount on repair fees for cars out of insurance coverage and another 50 percent discount on car routine check costs in the disaster-stricken area, as well as $500,000 worth of rescue equipment and emergency packages.

The four biggest South Korean bank groups, Hana, Shinhan, Woori and KB, have announced plans to donate between $230,000 and $300,000.

Ordinary citizens are also raising funds.

Donation platforms Happy Bean, of Naver, and Kakao Together, of Kakao, raised 2.8 billion won and 1.2 billion won respectively as of 4 p.m. Thursday.

The Korean Red Cross said on Wednesday that it had received 2 billion won in a day since it opened donation accounts for Turkey and Syria, 10 percent of the aimed donation amounts to 20 billion won.