RALEIGH, N.C. — The death toll in Syria and Turkey continues to rise after a powerful earthquake hit those countries early Monday morning.

Turkish and Syrian citizens living in the U.S. can only do so much as some wait to hear from relatives while others are ready to help.

What You Need To Know

  • Death tolls in Syria and Turkey continue to rise after major earthquake

  • The American Turkish Association of North Carolina working to help victims

  • The 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Monday morning

Berig Aiyub is a cook for Mecca Market in Raleigh, and today he's working with a worried and heavy heart.

“Called two, three times - nobody answer. Communication is bad," said Aiyub.

Aiyub is from Aleppo, Syria where a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit early Monday.

He tried, to no avail, to get in touch with family Monday morning.

“My brothers, son and my uncle," Aiyub said.

Related article: Quake deaths pass 5,000 as Turkey, Syria seek survivors

“I know that efforts, rescue, search and rescue efforts are very strongly happening," said Buket Aydermir.

Aydemir is the former president of the American Turkish Association of North Carolina.

On Monday, the organization quickly formed an earthquake emergency committee with Aydermir leading the way for donations.

She says the nonprofit is in the early stages of working with Turkish-owned businesses in the Triangle.

“Potentially, they can be a place for communication and providing donations," Aydemir said.

Meanwhile, back at Mecca Market, Aiyub says he can only monitor the situation right now and hope for the best.

“Stare at [the] TV all morning, don’t have any information," said Aiyub.

The American Turkish association of North Carolina created a donation link