CHILI, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester Region has an estimated 4,000 people from Turkey or who have Turkish origin —many of them with family and friends in the Near East.

Nihat Selcuk is the President of the Turkish Society of Rochester. He says right now, the death toll keeps climbing. It doesn’t look good. The silence from loved ones is deafening. 

“(If they are) not reaching out to the family members or friends, they are probably not alive, or under the collapsed buildings,” he said.

He said the quake has caused infrastructure and communications to go completely out. He says right now for the thousands of Turks in Rochester. Not knowing is the hardest part. 

“A lot of them they have family in the area, the city where the earthquake started, the central area– so I’ve been reaching out to them. Some of them still (don’t have) word from their families,” said Selcuk.

Selcuk says right now, the Society is focusing on what they can control. “We’re working here right now we have created some fundraising donations for the GoFundMe and our Facebook website.”

And in the coming days, they plan on taking in provisions to ship over to the affected area. 

“Clothing, blankets, food– some type of food for the children… children’s formula, maybe baby diapers.”

Aftershocks he said happened throughout the day… and more could come. The situation on the ground is very uncertain. 

“(Aftershocks are) still happening. It’s why nobody can go to an indoor place, even if their place isn’t collapsed,” he said.

Selcuk said the Society will be manned every day this week from 4 to 8 pm to collect any cash donations. The Society is located at 677 Behan Road in Chili. 

Their GoFundMe page is located here.