Archbishop asks for prayers following new 6.4-magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria

By Ana Paula Morales for CNA


A pedestrian uses a smartphone as she walks past a collapsed building in Antakya, southern Turkey on Feb. 21, 2023. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake late Feb. 20, 2023, rocked Turkey’s southern province of Hatay and northern Syria. / Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images

ACI Prensa Staff, Feb 21, 2023 / 11:35 am (CNA).

Antoine Chahda, the Syrian Catholic archbishop of Aleppo, Syria, asked for prayers after a new 6.4-magnitude earthquake shook Turkey and Syria on Feb. 20.

In a statement to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, after the earthquake Chahda encouraged prayers “for us because all the people are out on the streets, the whole city. It was horrible, very terrible, we’re all trembling.”

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake occurred three kilometers (about two miles) southwest of Uzunbağ, Turkey, near the Syrian border, at 8:04 p.m. local time.

This was one of the most intense of the thousands of aftershocks that have followed the Feb. 6 earthquake, which to date has claimed more than 47,000 lives and more than 122,000 injuries in the border region.

The Syrian Catholic archbishop of Aleppo said that “so far, no buildings have collapsed, the cathedral is okay. But tomorrow, when the sun rises, we will see what will happen.”

“People are out on the street. We’re okay. There seem to be no injuries in Aleppo. We won’t know until tomorrow,” the prelate commented.

The archbishop said that “for now we are receiving people who like to come to the cathedral. It’s full of people, just like the street.”

“We don’t know what will happen,” he added. “Only God knows. Pray for us.”

Father Esteban Dumont, who lives in Tarsus, Turkey, about 135 miles by air from Aleppo, said “We’re okay. It felt strong, but we didn’t suffer any damage.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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