On 13 May 2014, an explosion at a coalmine Soma town mine in Manisa district caused an underground mine fire, which burned until 15 May. In total, 301 people were killed in what was the worst mine disaster in Turkey's history.
Following the mine disaster in Soma, IBC (International Blue Crescent Foundation) contacted the local authorities to support mine disaster victims’ families.
Only 45 days after the disaster, the holly month of Ramadan started. Before Ramadan, IBC rapid response team with UMCOR support went to Soma town to purchase and distribution the Ramadan food packages. In close corporation with Local Disaster Management Authorities, IBC and UMCOR arrange the distribution of food items for 350 families: ‘190 families of those miners who lost their lives and 160 most vulnerable miner families’.
40 days after the mine disaster, Soma town seemed quite and life was back to normal. But unfortunately nothing was the same. Media and international attention was over, people felt left alone and helpless. IBC team visit the sport complex in town became Disaster Relief Centre, around 50 volunteers working to distribute relief items, provided by various private and institutional donors.
Daily 300 people could get food, clothes, toys four children etc. One of the volunteers in Disaster Relief Center. Mihriban Vatansever (25), a Schoolteacher, told IBC rapid response team coordinator Levent Ozturk that there are many needs:
‘I started to work in Disaster Relief Centre one week after the mine disaster. Daily hundreds of people come in front of the center and wait on a long line. We give them numbers. Only 300 or 350 people can get items daily, though thousands are on the list. If they can’t get items, they are coming next day until their number on the list is called. We provide food, clothes, toys etc., and they can pick themselves...’’
Isa Sakin in disaster relief center the man who carrying packet is a miner, who was work in it mine factory disaster happened. He's shift was night and he's a friend lost their life. He sad '' i was home after my night shift; mid day I realize some think badly happened. I m back to mine Cole factory to help search and rescue operation, because only one who knows the hole's on the ground in mine factory it was me, and my other college 's. I sow my friend’s dead body's, it was sudden dead to most of them. I can’t forget this picture . It's all in my head. I’m in relief Centre as a volunteer because this is only one way i can treat my self , it is like a rehabilitation to me.
After visit Relief Centre ,IBC team also visit Disaster Management Authorities , to collect last edit of mine disaster victim's families list and effected ones.
IBC team deal with local providers to purchase Food packages that contains: 3 liter edible oil, 1 kg margarine, 2 kg rice, 2 kg beans, 2 kg lentils, 2 kg chickpeas, 1 kg sugar, 3 kg pasta, 1 kg tomato paste. Total 350 packages were distributed in the first delivery; the second delivery of 350 more packages will be done at the end of July, just before the Eid -ul Ramadan.
In June 25th, IBC team started distribute of food package door by door, at first to the families of 190 disaster victims. The families of 160 miners who lost their job after the mine was closed also received those food items and 110 packages delivered to Disaster Relief Centre, rest of 50 also given to families in their homes.
Before Eid ul Ramadan IBC also will distribute other 350 Food packages .. IBC also working alternative income project to victim’s family’s...