BARRINGTON, R.I. (WPRI) — After a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated Turkey and Syria on Monday, the local Turkish community is rallying to support their loved ones abroad.

The Turkish American Cultural Society of Rhode Island spent Tuesday night packing donations to send to Turkey. The organization’s Director Melih Bektas told 12 News they sent a shipment of donations on Monday night and are preparing to send a second batch, which includes blankets, clothing, medicine.

Leyla and Ismail Saltuk were both born in Turkey but have lived in Barrington for more than four decades.

“It’s definitely not a national situation, it’s a humanitarian, human situation—just gets into your heart,” Leyla said.

The Saltuks said they have experienced earthquakes before, but never of that magnitude.

“11 minutes of shaking, I can’t imagine,” Leyla said. “There’s nothing you can do, and there’s no warning, it just happened at four in the morning. The helplessness of the people is just heartbreaking.”

According to Ismail, the area affected is industrial and heavily populated. Rescue crews are scrambling to find survivors as the death toll has surpassed 7,700 and is expected to continue increasing.

The pair is encouraging people to donate to the Turkish American Cultural Society of Rhode Island’s drive.

“It’s unbelievable how people show their empathy to other people who are in need,” Ismail said.

The society will take another shipment of donations to Boston on Monday. Those interested in donating, can drop emergency supplies off at 369 Douglas Avenue in Providence.

The organization also has a GoFundMe for those who wish to donate funds.