Turkey (MNN) — After a 7.0 earthquake rocked parts of Turkey and Greece on October 31, strong aftershocks keep coming. Over the last two weeks, earthquakes ranging from 4.0 to 4.5 continue to rattle the Aegean Sea.
The Turkish City of Izmir suffered the worst of the damage. The initial quake collapsed 17 buildings, killing at least 91 and injuring over 900. Days after the disaster, people were still being pulled from the rubble, including a 3-year-old girl who was trapped for 65 hours.
“My dad is from Izmir,” says Gülsüm, Deputy Director of SAT-7 Türk. “I was born and raised in Istanbul, but I used to go to Izmir during summertime. I experienced some earthquakes, but they were usually 4.6 or 4.8. This is the first time in my life that I’m hearing of an earthquake that big in Izmir.”
SAT-7’s response to the earthquake
The earthquake has greatly distressed many people in Turkey, Gülsüm says, “Many of our viewers are wondering whether the earthquake is a punishment from God. We were asked whether natural disasters occurred because we had angered God. . . . So we guided them into prayer. We prayed with them and we try to remind them that no, this is really not a punishment. We don’t know God’s ways. But this is not a punishment.”
SAT-7 Türk continues to cover the earthquake, giving people information and leading prayers for the people affected. The disaster left thousands of people homeless, and cold weather will arrive soon. Gülsüm says, “We are also publishing earthquake-related messages from various church leaders on our news page. By publishing these messages, we are also trying to build solidarity for Izmir among the Christian community.”
As the people of Izmir continue to live in fear and worry, pray God would comfort them and that many would find hope in Jesus.
Pray also that Turkey will begin constructing buildings able to better withstand earthquakes. Gülsüm says the country is crisscrossed by fault lines, and more serious quakes could come at any time.
The header image shows a child being rescued from one of the collapsed buildings in Izmir after the earthquake. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)