#BreakingNews RIP Priest Fr. Emad Daher among Thousands Killed and Historic Catholic Cathedral Destroyed by Earthquake in Turkey - Syria

The earthquake that hit Turkey and north-central Syria on Monday, February 6 has caused 3,727 (latest Toll updated from ABC) deaths with many still missing. Many buildings were destroyed including the Cathedral of the Annunciation or Iskenderun Cathedral, in Turkey. The body of Catholic Melkite priest Imad Daher was found under rubble in Aleppo, Syria. Fr Emad Daher, died when the residence of the Archbishop Emeritus of the Melkite Greek Catholics in Aleppo, Jean-Clement Jeanbart, collapsed. 

  The earthquake had a magnitude 7.8, with epicenter located in southern Turkey.

The Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo describes to Fides "a city of two and a half million inhabitants without electricity, water and heating. It is very cold, winter is harsh. I see people in the streets or in cars. They are afraid, they do not know what will happen, because it may not be over, and there are rumors that new strong and devastating tremors may follow". In fact, A new 7.6 magnitude earthquake aftershock was recorded in the southern Turkish province of Kahramanmaras in the afternoon, and was also felt in Damascus.
In Turkey, Bishop Paolo Bizzeti, Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia, reported that Iskenderun Cathedral has collapsed, and churches of the Syrian Orthodox and Orthodox communities in that city have also been destroyed. "Here in Aleppo", Bishop Audo reports to Fides, "Melkite Archbishop Georges Masri has been pulled alive from the rubble..."

There are unconfirmed reports of several fatalities among Christian communities caused by the earthquake in Syria, and at least one priest was killed when a building collapsed in Aleppo. Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart narrowly escaped death, and is in hospital.

Many Christian communities in Syria that were already facing a difficult situation after more than a decade of war, persecution and, more recently, a crippling financial crisis.

There are also accounts of structural damage to some buildings such as at the Syriac Orthodox Cathedral of St. George, in Aleppo, the Franciscan Church in Lattakia and minor damage to the ACN-supported Hope Centre, also in Aleppo.

The archbishop of Homs, Jean Abdo Arbach, has already commented on the earthquake, saying that the 30 seconds it lasted “completely changed the lives of thousands of people”.

Images: This is Christian Syria Twitter and  FB Abouna Rifat Bader
Text Sources: Aid to the Church in Need International and Fides.org
To Donate to the Church's Relief Efforts in Syria https://acninternational.org/