The Christian group, Baptist Global Response has offered aid to those affected by the massive 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey Sunday Oct. 23.
“Teams are within hours of arriving in the area with tarps and other supplies to assist survivors,” said Patrick J. Melancon, managing director of disaster response and training at BGR, in a press release Monday, Oct. 24.
“The teams are a part of the network of responders trained by Baptist Global Response to provide both rapid response and longer-term assessments during a crisis like this one. These teams provide local response capability wherever the teams may reside,” he added.
The earthquake hit Sunday afternoon and lasted 25 seconds. The provincial capital of Van and the eastern city of Ercis were hit hardest.
Ercis, with a population of 75,000, is categorized as one of Turkey’s most earthquake-prone zones. According to CNN, the earthquake has killed more than 270 people and injured more than 1,000.
“Turkey is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because it sits on major geological fault lines,” reported BBC News.
The quake has also demolished 970 buildings, according to the prime minister’s office in Ankara.
Photos show volunteers and rescue teams breaking down the large amounts of rubble crushing the city; some volunteers used shovels and even their bare hands to reach those trapped under the destruction.
More than 100 aftershocks were recorded within 10 hours of the initial earthquake.
“May God protect us from this kind of grief,” resident Kursat Lap, who lost his nephew’s family, told the Associated Press.
Many of those trapped in the rubble used their cellular phones to call for help and notify rescuers of their location. Others, once freed, helped free their friends by determining where they would have been when the quake struck.
Some were pulled free after laying under rubble for 24 hours; video footage shows volunteers carrying a rescued toddler from the rubble.
The Baptist Global Response offers a Christian response to those in need around the world.
This is the most detrimental earthquake to hit Turkey in 10 years.