A devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 rocked southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria on Monday, February 6, leaving behind a trail of destruction and loss of life.
Statue of Mary untouched after church collapses [Photos]
Kenya has joined the list of countries which have pledged to support Turkey following the earthquake tragedy.
According to a report that was first published by ACI Prensa, which is the Catholic News Agency’s Spanish-language news partner, one of the buildings that suffered the wrath of the quake was the Annunciation Cathedral located in the city of Alexandretta.
The cathedral was a place of worship for the Apostolic Vicariate of Anatolia.
However, amidst the ruins, a statue of the Virgin Mary miraculously stood unscathed.
Father Antuan Ilgit, a Turkish Jesuit priest, took to Facebook to share the news, expressing his gratitude that he and his community were safe and that they were providing shelter for those in need.
“Yes, the collapse of the Cathedral is shocking, just yesterday we celebrated the Sunday Mass there!” read part of the priest’s post on Facebook.
He also shared that he had rescued an image of the Virgin Mary from the cathedral, which he believes will be their source of strength as they navigate these trying times.
“I brought the image of the Virgin Mary from the Cathedral, this image will be our strength and with her, we will face everything,” he added.
In response to the disaster, the Turkish government declared a level 4 state of emergency and has requested international aid to assist with the recovery effort.
According to Al Jazeera, the death toll in Turkey had reached 24,000 by Sunday, while in Syria, over 4,500 were killed. Rescue efforts are still ongoing.
Kenya has joined the list of countries which have pledged to support Turkey following the tragedy.
“We have a responsibility to lend a hand to these two nations.I call upon Kenyans to join hands in extending material support that will alleviate human sufferings such as foodstuff, clothing, medical stuff, finances among others,” said Foreign Affairs CS Alfred Mutua during a media briefing.
He also confirmed that no Kenyan citizens were impacted by the recent earthquake. Mutua added that his ministry is closely monitoring the situation and maintaining communication with the Kenyan Embassy in Turkey to receive updates.
In response to the tragedy, a hotline has been established for Kenyans who may be in distress and need assistance. The number 90538502060 is available for anyone seeking help or needing to be evacuated back to Kenya
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