Türkiye & Syria: Earthquake Emergency Response


A major earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck central Türkiye and northwest Syria on Monday, February 6, 2023, and a second one 7.5 magnitude killing hundreds of people as buildings collapsed across the snowy region, triggering a search for survivors trapped in rubble.

The earthquake hit Gaziantep at 4:17am local time (01:17 GMT) on Monday, as people were sleeping, at a depth of about 17.9km (11 miles). It was also felt in Syria, Cyprus, Egypt and Lebanon.

Many houses and public buildings, including hospitals and churches collapsed.

The majority of Christians in Türkiye are living in Istanbul, however, the Antioch area is home to a significant number of Christians, mainly Arabic-speaking Orthodox Christians as well as Armenians, Catholics and Evangelicals. Antioch has a biblical history, as the first Christians who escaped from persecution in Jerusalem fled to Antioch. It was in Antioch that the followers of Christ were called “Christians”. Christian communities have a significant presence in the area, and there is a unique opportunity for holistic relief work to be carried out by Christians. Any effort will be welcomed in the Antioch area, which is more open to Christian outreach, and opportunities to share the gospel along with practical aid may arise.

Immediately following the earthquake, access to the affected areas poses a big challenge, with many roads blocked by the widespread damage across southern Türkiye, impeding the ability to undertake rescues, assess damage or deliver aid.

Other areas of Syria including the cities of Aleppo, Lattakia and Hama recorded significant impacts, including lives lost and building collapses. Before the earthquake, north-western Syria already had more than 4 million people relying on humanitarian assistance.


>13.5 million people live in the area affected

+46,000 people killed in the earthquake

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