Quake triggers trauma in Lebanon

By February 9, 2023
turkiye syria earthquake

Lebanon (MNN) — Hope for survival begins to wane three days after record-setting twin earthquakes rocked Türkiye (formerly known as Turkey) and Syria. See our coverage here.

The first earthquake on Monday was so big that 300 miles south of the epicenter, “we had a tremendous scare here in Lebanon,” Heart for Lebanon co-founder Camille Melki says.

“We felt a 4.8- to 5.0 [magnitude] earthquake here in the Bekaa [Valley]. Thankfully, there were no damages compared to the tremendous damages in Syria and Türkiye. But definitely, it was a scary evening.”

Though relatively short, the tremors triggered traumatic reactions. People in Beirut had flashbacks of the 2020 port explosion.

“Many people in Beirut went out and started pointing to safe places to run to. On the night [of the earthquake,] many stayed in their cars in large open parking lots because of fear,” Melki says.

“We heard [about] people who fainted from fear.”

Tsunami warnings quickly went viral on social media. “There was fear, unjustified by all scientists, but people who have lost a lot lose hope quickly,” Melki says.

Praise God for sparing Lebanon from earthquake damage. Pray for search and rescue efforts in Türkiye and Syria.

“One of our biggest prayer concerns is the weather conditions. The region has been experiencing a very, very cold winter front. People without shelter are living at night in very dire conditions,” Melki says.

Half of Heart for Lebanon’s staff has family members in Syria. Many remain unaccounted for; pray for their safety.

“We pray that it’s a broken cell phone communication and not that they are under the rubble,” Melki says.



Header and story images courtesy of Horizons International.

Help us get the word out: