Today's Sarah Abo breaks down in tears live on air: 'Tough'

The Syrian-born journalist couldn't hold back her emotions while speaking about the deadly earthquakes.

Today host Sarah Abo broke down in tears live on air on Friday during an emotional moment while speaking to a Syrian man working to help in rescue efforts after two devastating earthquakes hit the region.

The death toll has passed 20,000, according to local authorities, with the numbers set to rise in both Syria and Turkey, where there are a confirmed 3,317 and 17,406 people dead, respectively.

The Syrian-born journalist couldn't hide her emotions as she and co-host Karl Stefanovic spoke with Ismail Alabdullah, a member of the volunteer organisation White Helmets.

Today host Sarah Abo
Today host Sarah Abo broke down in tears live on air on Friday while speaking to an earthquake responder in Syria. Photo: Nine

"I know this has been incredibly difficult for you and your insight into this has been quite remarkable," Karl said to Sarah.

Mr Alabdullah revealed that "no one responded" to the organisation's call out for help or equipment, "We asked for equipment, generators, spare parts, search and rescue equipment that enable us to rescue the people.


"No one responded. No one helped us. No one cared about those civilians. The whole world knows that north-west Syria is exhausted by the bombings over the past years. The hospitals destroyed, doctors were killed, many doctors were killed. No one said we are coming to you, we support you."

This insight brought tears to Sarah's eyes, with Karl asking why she felt so emotional and the host responding, "They feel like they're being ignored."

She added through tears, "You've got people there who are so desperate and it's as though – for years they feel as though they haven't been given the attention they deserve."

Ismail Alabdullah on the Today Show
Ismail Alabdullah revealed that "no one responded" to the organisation's call out for help or equipment in Syria. Photo: Nine

"And now we are seeing them so desperate and you heard him say it's taken days for aid to reach them," she added. "It's not nearly enough. They need so much more. What do you do when a region's divided by war like that, it's so difficult."

"I feel you. I think the whole country does and the world does," Karl told her, as he put a supportive hand on her shoulder. "It's tough to watch and you have such an intimate knowledge of it."

Mr Alabdullah questioned the hosts about why it was taking so long for international aid to arrive on the ground in the region, adding a quicker response could have saved more lives.

"We are running out of time, no one responded to our calls to save the others," he said.

"We are losing people," he added, saying simple equipment could have saved many lives. "We didn't receive any help, we called from the beginning. This is beyond our capability...No one cared, no one said a word."

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on Wednesday that 72 Australian personnel will be on the ground by the end of the week to help with rescue and recovery.

The US has also announced today that an $85 million emergency relief package, including food, shelter and emergency health services, will be sent.

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