St. Louis, Mo., 07 February, 2023 / 3:50 pm (ACI Africa).
Catholic aid agencies worldwide are coordinating and sending aid after a series of massive earthquakes shook parts of Turkey and Syria, leaving continued devastation in their wake.
According to the latest available estimates as of midday Tuesday, the 7.8-magnitude quake has left at least 6,200 people dead in Turkey and Syria, the New York Times reported. In Syria, which has been ravaged by more than a decade of civil war, countless buildings collapsed Feb. 6, including several Catholic churches, reported ACI MENA, CNA’s Arabic-language partner agency.
Nikki Gamer, a spokesperson for the U.S.-based Catholic Relief Services, told CNA that CRS is supporting local church partners in Turkey and Syria, including Caritas Turkey and Caritas Syria, but coordination remains difficult. CRS is raising funds via a banner on its website.
“Many of our partner staff are personally affected by the destruction,” Gamer told CNA.
“Telecommunications are disrupted and transportation is impaired, complicating relief efforts and attempts to identify and account for family members. Snow, sleet, and freezing temperatures are in the forecast, so priority needs include safe shelter, warm clothes, and hot meals. Our partners have begun to offer that support and will continue to assess and address the needs in the weeks to come.”