February 5, 2023
A deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey late tonight has caused damage in Syria, and was felt in Lebanon, and Israel, as well. It has collapsed buildings, sparked fires in ruptured gas lines, and prompted Italian authorities to warn of potential tsunami waves. Aftershocks, including one of 6.7 magnitude and another of 5.6, have continued to hit in the wake of the first quake.
Millions of refugees from Syria’s civil war and internally displaced persons live in the region of the epicenter, in tents and other temporary housing.
It is winter there.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan issued a statement saying, “The United States is profoundly concerned by the reports of today’s destructive earthquake in Türkiye and Syria. We stand ready to provide any and all needed assistance. President Biden has directed USAID [the U.S. Agency for International Development, responsible for administering civilian foreign aid] and other federal government partners to assess U.S. response options to help those most affected. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with the Government of Türkiye.”
Heather, thank you for bringing together multiple voices about this humanitarian crisis. Thank heaven for President Biden’s leadership and empathy as well as the kindness of the US toward those affected.
A 7.8 magnitude is catastrophic- and in the middle of winter is even more tragic. Those poor people. Thank heavens we have a President experienced in international affairs and with a competent and knowledgeable staff.