TURKEY (WNCN) – A Duke University student is among the more than 47,000 people who have lost their lives in a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck in Turkey on Feb. 6, the university confirms.
Samar Zora, a Canada native, joined Duke in 2019 to pursue a PhD in Cultural Anthropology in 2019, the university said.
Duke also said it learned of her death as it came while “Samar was conducting research in the Hatay Province of Turkey when earthquakes struck the region last week.”
Some 13.5 million people live in Turkey’s 11 quake-hit provinces, where authorities said more than 139,000 buildings were either destroyed or so severely damaged that they need to be torn down, CBS 17 previously reported. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said 865,000 people were living in tents as of Tuesday.
Additionally, Duke said “we want to recognize, too, that news of Samar’s passing brings more members of our Duke community into immediate connection with the devastating losses in Turkey and Syria and therefore may impact members of the community who didn’t directly know Samar in profound ways. Our Turkish and Syrian members of the Duke community, along with those with ties to the region, carry an already heavy burden and remain at the forefront of our thoughts and support efforts.”
Zora’s family also briefly spoke to Duke.
“She loved to laugh…was full of life and [was] a very sweet, good-hearted person,” they said.
The majority of deaths in the massive Feb. 6 quake, that was followed by a magnitude 7.5 temblor nine hours later, were in Turkey, where at least 42,310 people died, according to the disaster management agency.