Massive earthquake destroys churches, kills 100s in Turkey, Syria

Syria, February 6, 2023

A damaged church of the Antiochian Patriarchate. Photo: Antiochian Patriarchate—Facebook A damaged church of the Antiochian Patriarchate. Photo: Antiochian Patriarchate—Facebook     

Hundreds are reported dead and thousands more injured today after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked the area around the Turkish-Syrian border.

The quake, among the strongest to hit the region in 100 years, brought numerous buildings tumbling down, trapping many unfortunate people inside.

At least 284 people were killed and more than 2,300 injured in Turkey, according to Vice President Fuat Oktay. In Syria, at least 386 people died, mostly in the regions of Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and Tartus, reports CNN.

Among the ruined buildings are many churches, including churches of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.

The Turkish outlet published images of ruined Orthodox churches in Arsuz and Iskenderun in the Hatay Province:

Orthodox church in Arsuz. Photo: Orthodox church in Arsuz. Photo:   

Orthodox church in Iksenderun. Photo: Orthodox church in Iksenderun. Photo:     

The Annunciation Catholic church in Iskenderun was also destroyed.

His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East issued an appeal today, in which he mentioned that churches in Mersin, the capital of the Mersin Province, and Antioch (Antakya) in the Hatay Province were also damaged.

Pictures also show that the cathedral in Aleppo was damaged, but not destroyed.

Addressing the hierarchs of the Patriarchate, His Beatitude writes: “We ask you to raise prayers for the comfort of the souls of the dead, the healing of the wounded, and the relief of the afflicted and the homeless who have no roof to shelter them.”

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Rdr Daniel2/6/2023 3:22 pm
May the Lord have mercy upon the people. Is there yet a fund by the Church of Antioch to which we may make donations? Also did Met. Neophytos not say that an earthquake originating near Antioch would strike Turkey, then the fall of Ergodan, after which the war prophesied by St Cosmas and St Paisos would place?
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