Early Monday morning a massive 7.8 earthquake rumbled through Turkey and northern Syria. Sometime later, another massive quake registering 7.5 struck the same area. At least 20 aftershocks have occurred following the massive quakes.
The impact of the quakes were felt as far away as Cairo and Israel. Other areas impacted were Beirut and Damascus. In fact, residents in Beirut “left their homes and took to the streets or drove their cars away from buildings, terrorized by memories of the 2020 port explosion that wrecked a large portion of the city.”
These quakes have brought down buildings and left hundreds trapped. Emergency personnel stated “strained health facilities and hospitals were quickly filled.” Current estimates of the death toll have risen to possibly 10,000 people. Offers of international aid have come from Taiwan, Russia, and Germany, “whether medical supplies, search teams, and money.” Turkey has asked for assistance from Israel, and a team of 150 members is leaving, consisting “of one third headquarters and intelligence, and two thirds have rescue, medical, and engineering capabilities, says Colonel (Res.) Golan Vach, commander of the IDF National Rescue Unit.”
In this heartbreaking incident two things become clear. No one knew a natural disaster this large was coming. Second, it’s gratifying that Turkey requested Israel’s assistance in this horrific incident and Israel responded immediately, without hesitation. It is unknown if Syria requested Israel’s assistance. Please pray for this area and all involved in the rescue and treatment of the injured. May God comfort, protect, and bless each one.
Update: There are conflicting reports regarding Israeli assistance in Syria. For example, “A senior IDF official dismissed any rumors that the IDF had been asked to or might assist Syria with its difficulties from the earthquake” (Jerusalem Post; February 6,2023). In the Times of Israel this afternoon, “Israel to provide blankets, tents, medicine after earthquake.” (I.e. humanitarian aid).
Then this in the Times also; the statement from the IDF, “A senior IDF official denied any government intention to send aid to Syria.” So conflicting information is coming out and more clarity is needed.
Additional information will most likely come out over the coming hours and days.
(Source: The Times of Israel)