UNITED METHODIST COMMITTEE ON RELIEF EARTHQUAKE UPDATE:
United Methodist Committee On Relief Earthquake Update: A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey at 4:17 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, the most powerful earthquake recorded since 1939. In the days that followed, scores of aftershocks were reported, followed by a second earthquake of 7.5 magnitude. The earthquake and aftershocks also impacted northwest Syria, where 4.1 million people depend on humanitarian assistance. Syrian communities, many of them women and children, are simultaneously facing an ongoing cholera outbreak and extreme winter weather, including heavy rain and snow. Tens of thousands have been killed in both countries, and deaths continue to rise as rescue crews discover the bodies of earthquake victims in collapsed buildings. The humanitarian response is struggling to ramp up to meet the need among the devastation and winter weather. UMCOR’s long-standing humanitarian partner, International Blue Crescent (IBC), has multiple offices and project sites in Turkey. In IBC offices, people fill the halls as they seek shelter, warmth, and a hot meal. With the devastating damage to roads, transport and infrastructure, IBC has received hundreds of families in its Kilis Community Center for shelter, warm items, and hot meals since the first hours after the earthquakes struck. Kilis is serving as a major hub for coordination and relief efforts, including for cross-border response into Syria. UMCOR has released initial solidarity grants to IBC and Forum for Development Culture and Dialogue (working in Syria) to help provide tents, heaters, blankets, warm clothes, ready to eat meals and first aid kits to those who have been displaced. UMCOR staff members are also in touch with other partners in the region. Additional updates will be provided as more information becomes available. Please join UMCOR in prayer for the many people affected by these devastating earthquakes, including the crews who are recovering the bodies of those who died and those caring for the injured, displaced, and grieving. Support relief and recovery efforts for this and other international disasters by writing a check and donating to “The Advance GCFA”. Mailing the check to this address: Global Ministries/UMCOR GPO P.O. Box 9068 New York, NY 10087-9068 and list the code 982450 so the money goes specifically to help the people of Syria and Turkey. If you want to go online to make a donation with your credit card you can go to https://umcmission.org/ If you want to give by phone you can call 888-252-6174 – credit cards are accepted by phone.