2023 Syria earthquakes2023 Syria earthquakes

2023 Middle East Earthquakes

One month

Syria Earthquakes One Month On
Syria Earthquakes One Month On

It may seem unbelievable, but one month has already passed since the Middle East was rocked by a life changing 7.8 magnitude earthquake. You showed up immediately for our friends in Aleppo with hot meals, large quilted blankets, and food boxes for families. Your generosity is warming hearts as it fills stomachs with 2000 freshly-made, hot, comforting meals of chicken kebab, pickles, french fries, and bread.

Thank you.

As we reflect on how incredibly difficult this past month has been for our friends in Syria, we are also filled with gratitude for you. You have given families hope. Hope for rebuilding, for warmth, and for not being forgotten. With so many Syrians still sleeping on the streets, without electricity and heat, our community of peacemakers is filling in the gaps with hot meals and forkfuls of compassion. Help us continue to show up as we get our next food box and family-sized quilted blanket distributions ready. Let our Syrian friends know that they are not forgotten by giving today. A donation says, “I see you. I recognize and empathize with your pain. You are not forgotten.”

Many countries and organizations continue to focus their relief efforts in Turkey, but we are still here with our partners in Aleppo – one of the most affected areas in Syria. You are here with us, hand in hand and heart to heart.


Day 14 Response

Just when you thought the ground beneath your feet was starting to settle, another powerful aftershock strikes. You’re shaking, not just from the 6.3-magnitude quake, which was only a few kilometers under the street, but from the fear. The fear that it’s happening again, and there’s no way to stop it. There’s no warning. There’s no way to know if your house–if you’re lucky enough to still have one–will remain standing. You search your ceiling for cracks. Outside your window, the sun has set and the streets are cold. You grab your kids and coats, and get ready to spend another night sleeping in the street.

People are scared and scarred by the past few weeks of natural disasters. There is nowhere for them to go to feel safe. Grieving and panicked, our friends in Syria need our help.

We are here. 

In addition to the trauma this latest 6.3-magnitude quake has caused, people are struggling to meet their basic needs. Working alongside our partners in Aleppo, we are planning a large-scale aid distribution. We are going to bring hundreds more warm, quilted winter blankets, hundreds of food packs to last a family of five for almost three weeks, and thousands of hot meals to those in need in Aleppo.

Let our friends in Syria know they are not alone. Join us in alleviating a few of their worries so they have the energy to process, grieve, repair, and heal.


Day 10 Response

Our Preemptive Love staff member in this video reported some grim estimates. Over 40,000 buildings in Syria are now uninhabitable, and there are an estimated 45,000 families without homes—25,000 of the uninhabitable buildings are located in Aleppo, where we are on the ground.

Amidst the numbers, it is important to remember each individual affected by this tragedy. We are reminded that while big numbers get attention, one person can make a profound impact.

One is our why.

One person can change the direction of another’s life. That’s why we do the work we do, why we work through listening, and why we create deep relationships with the people we serve. We believe that each person holds value. Each person can remake violence into something beautiful.

You’ve shown up by allowing us to provide food boxes and blankets to Syrian families, who will continue to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the earthquakes.

We are now working on providing a larger distribution of food packs, blankets, and will be offering hot meals to Syrian families.

Join us in supporting Syrians as each one remakes destruction with remarkable resilience.


Day 8 Response

Blanket Distribution in Syria
A child making a blanket fort reminds us that there is more that unites us than divides us. Photo by Sharif Abdalla for Preemptive Love.

Buildings continue to collapse in the Aleppo region. Having lost their homes and belongings, families seek safety in gardens despite the bitter cold or in shelters if they are lucky enough to find space in one. Over the weekend, our team acquired as many blankets as possible to help people in the frigid cold. We distributed 95 blankets to 95 families, our way of putting our arms around them.

According to the Aleppo governorate, more than 350 shelters have been opened, but the number of people who need a warm place to stay is over 217,000. There is so much more that needs to be done.

People in Syria are hungry, freezing, injured, and surrounded by rubble. Survivors need care. To speed up the flow of aid into Syria, the UN Security Council has opened two more border crossings from Turkey.

We, too, are listening to our friends in Syria. We are bringing food, blankets, and care. We choose to see the possibility of life, knowing miracles do happen. We see our Syrian friends’ resilience and courage and are inspired to respond in kind. This is the time to love anyway, love first, and love always.


Day 5 Response

This week has been long, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, and hopeful. We began this week with devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria—news you never want to receive. We immediately got to work mobilizing our team and showing up with food packs, blankets, love, and hope. 

It was amidst the death toll, destruction, and freezing temperatures that we met Ghada and her family. She reminded us of our time in Syria in 2019. We were driving through the beautiful countryside where these earthquakes struck. During that time, we remember being in awe at the contrast between old and new. Constant war, constant rebuilding, and the Syrian people’s joy of daily life. The visual effect of resilience. People look at Syria and tend to see the devastation, despair, horror, and hopelessness. We see life.   

Please join us in providing hope with a blanket or food pack donation. 

Thank you for showing up for them and giving us the opportunity to see beyond despair, to find the possibility of a life where others see nothing but destruction. We choose to see the possibility of life; we do our best to become the hope people are holding onto.

In the weeks to come, the emergency will continue. The time is now to be the change you wish to see in the world.

Help your Syrian friends hold onto hope.


Syria Earthquake
Ghada’s family at Syrian Shelter.

Day 4 Response

Our staff in Syria awoke to the good news that so many of you showed up for them.

It has been awe-inspiring to see our Preemptive Love community come together to help in the face of chaos and crisis over these past four days. THIS is humanity at its best. Neighbors, strangers, friends, people like you, organizations and governments at all levels have joined together to mount an extraordinary effort to save lives and meet the needs of thousands of people who suffered from these earthquakes. Thank you for continuing to give hope to our friends in Syria.

We still desperately need you. 

Our team is outside Aleppo, where the situation has continued to grow dire. Countless structures have crumbled, cutting off the water supply, and more than 5,000 buildings/apartments have been deemed unsafe. Since Monday, our teams and partners have experienced several large aftershocks; with 5.0 to 6.0+ aftershocks still possible, we are working under the threat of additional damage.

Yesterday, we introduced you to Ghada, the little girl with the red balloon, and this is her family, including her baby brother in the stroller. There are so many more families like Ghada’s who need help. The bone-chilling reality is that families are sleeping on concrete floors without adequate winter gear, and temperatures continue to drop below freezing. Our team has acquired as many blankets as possible to help families in this frigid cold. With blankets and food boxes, we hope to bring warmth and comfort to as many families like Ghada’s as possible.

$39 provides a blanket for a family. 

$80 provides food boxes for two families of five. 

For the cost of a dinner out, you can feed a family or provide warmth in the bitter cold.


Day 3 Response:

Syrian Earthquake Relief
Ghada rejoices after receiving a food box at Syrian shelter

First, we’d like to take a moment to thank you for believing that the pain of our friends in Syria is just as real as the pain of your own friends and families. 

We were able to provide 61 food boxes to families today including this little girl, Ghada. Ghada’s name in Arabic means beautiful and kind. The kindness you have shown Ghada is our beacon of light amidst the continuing days of darkness in Syria.

In the aftermath of the horrific earthquake, these food boxes will sustain families for almost three weeks.

We still need your help.

Ghada is one of the lucky ones whose family found refuge in a shelter as officials have asked residents to leave buildings for their own safety amid concerns of additional aftershocks.

Just outside her shelter, temperatures are expected to plummet several degrees below zero. Tomorrow, temperatures are expected to drop to -4 degrees Celsius (24.8 degrees Fahrenheit). In the wake of multiple earthquakes, thousands of people have nowhere to go. On the streets, they burn the rubble of their destroyed houses in bonfires to keep warm.

Your generosity is life-saving to Syrians who have already lost so much during these past 11 years of civil war. In addition to ongoing food distribution, we’re planning a blanket delivery to help people stay warm as temperatures drop.

If you have not already donated or would like to do more, your support provides blankets and food boxes full of life-saving essentials for a family of five.


Day 2 Response:

Syrian Earthquake
Syrian Earthquake

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria and was felt elsewhere in the Middle East just before sunrise on Monday. The quake is one of the strongest to hit the region in over 100 years and at least three additional earthquakes of similar magnitude and more than 100 aftershocks have hit the area since then.

As people in Turkey, Syria, and elsewhere wake up to uncertainty, the next few days are critical.

Today, we know…

  • The death toll has climbed to over 7,000 people, and the World Health Organization (WHO) warns the death toll could rise 8-fold. 
  • In Syria, over ten years of civil war has decimated buildings, destroyed hospitals, and damaged essential infrastructure before the earthquakes struck.
  • The one border crossing through which humanitarian aid flows from Turkey into Syria has been closed, cutting off people in Syria from the help they so desperately need.

As many countries focus their relief efforts in Turkey, we’re here in Aleppo, one of the most affected areas in Syria with our local partners, bringing food relief.

Food insecurity is rising, with numbers changing by the minute. 

Here’s how you can help: 

$40 provides a food box of life-saving essentials for a family of five. 

Despite such heartbreaking loss, there is hope. In the face of such devastation, we are reminded that there is so much more that unites us than divides us.

We will continue to bring you along in our emergency response efforts in Syria as we continue to listen and respond to those in need.

Please donate now to help our friends in Syria.


Day 1 Response:

Our hearts are filled with ache and grief for people throughout Turkey and Syria. Just before dawn on Monday, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked ten regions in southeastern Turkey, with tremors felt in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. Over 3,000 people have been killed, and more than 6,000 have been injured, as numbers continue to rise. With residential buildings flattened, people were forced to dig through the rubble, looking for loved ones with their bare hands, as a second, 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck. 

Some Turkish cities such as Gaziantep and Hatay are huge population centers, hosting refugees from the Syrian Civil War, making many of our Syrian refugee friends more vulnerable to needing immediate help. Over 1,000 buildings have collapsed, including two hospitals. Gas has been cut in some cities while others are in total blackout. The weather is freezing, with more rain and snow coming, making rescue efforts even more difficult.

Over ten years of bombing and shelling during Syria’s Civil War have weakened the country’s infrastructure, leaving it without enough hospitals, doctors, and a limited cash flow to care for people. This earthquake will create more refugees and internally displaced people (IDP) in a country where 97% of the population lives below the poverty line, and some families are already living in tents, having been displaced by war.

In this video, a Preemptive Love staff member gives an update on the situation in Syria. 

We checked in with our local staff moments after the earthquakes, and they are doing as well as can be expected. As you heard on the video, one of our staff members’ home was significantly damaged, and some families are in the hospital. We are trying to connect with friends and partners and will keep you updated as we learn more. 

Our community has reached out and asked how they can help. Thank you for checking on us. We are taking today to care for our own impacted staff and partners and to mourn before carefully setting a plan for tomorrow’s relief effort.

Our hearts are with the spouses hopelessly looking for their partners in the city’s rubble. Our arms hold the children, who may never see their parents again, and our love goes out to the mothers who braved the war; to lose their children to this earthquake. Never has it been more urgent to remember that we belong to one another. Never has it been so necessary to love anyway, to love first, and to love always.

We are preparing our emergency response in Northwestern parts of Syria. As a community of peacemakers, we need you so that together we can help our friends. Check your inbox tomorrow for more updates.