Earthquake in the Aegean

A strong earthquake hit Greece and Turkey on 30 October. The epicenter was located in the Aegean Sea, in an area between the city of Smyrna (Turkey) and the island of Samos (Greece). The first shock, of magnitude 7.0, was followed by others of settling; a tsunami also ensued which flooded some neighborhoods of Samos and a suburb of Smyrna. The city most affected was undoubtedly the latter, with its 4 million inhabitants.

There are more than eighty victims in the province of Smyrna, while the injured rise to an altitude of one thousand according to the data of the Turkish civil protection (Afad). In Bayrakli, one of the worst-hit cities, rescuers continue to dig under the rubble of eight collapsed buildings in hopes of saving lives.

Thousands of people have been leaving cities for days to move to rural areas, despite damage to the road network as well. From the very first moment Caritas Italiana got in touch with Caritas Greece and Caritas Turkey to express solidarity with the affected populations, but above all to give availability to concrete support for interventions in response to the emergency.

A large network of operators and volunteers has already been activated by local Caritas to monitor the situation and organize an aid system, in full collaboration with the government and ecclesial authorities.

Caritas Diocesana Agrigento, in expressing its closeness and solidarity to the populations severely affected by the earthquake, joins the prayer of the Holy Father Francis and the whole Church in favor of those who are currently suffering due to the seismic emergency.