Local News

Zimbabwe Muslims join world in mourning Turkey, Syria earthquake victims

By William Milasi

The Muslim community in Zimbabwe has joined the international community in mourning the deaths of at least 21 000 people who died in Turkey and Syria following an earthquake which hit the two countries Monday.

In a statement the president of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Zimbabwe (SCIAZ) Sheikh Ishmail Duwa said the Muslim community in Zimbabwe is grieving with the rest of the world on the “catastrophic” tragedy.

“The President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Zimbabwe and the entire Muslim community of Zimbabwe wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the entire Turkish Nation and the Republic of Syria following the catastrophic earthquake experienced in your country in the past few days,” said Duwa.

Statistics has it that at least 21 000 people are believed to have died in Monday’s earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Duwa said Muslims in Zimbabwe are praying to Allah to grant people of the two countries comfort during the tragedy.

“Apart from the great loss of life, the said earthquake has caused untold suffering to survivors who shall for a long time require assistance. We sincerely pray that Allah the most High protects and condoles you in this time of great sadness. The catastrophic earthquake has occurred while Muslims worldwide are in sorrow of the burning of Quran. In the same vein, we shall forever cherish the amicable relations that the Republic of Turkey has with the people of Zimbabwe in all spheres of human endeavour,” he said.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called the quake “the disaster of a century.”

Meanwhile, rescuers are currently searching rubble for survivors while, major international relief efforts are gathering pace.

The World Bank has pledged $1, 78 billion in aid to Turkey including immediate finance for rebuilding basic infrastructure and to support those affected by the earthquake.

Another donation came from the US, which pledged a package of $85 million to both countries

Officials said that 18 342 people had died in Turkey, surpassing the more than 17 000 killed when a similar quake hit northwest Turkey in 1999.

An earlier update from Syria had put the troll there at 3 377

The tremor ranks among the most deadly natural disasters of the century-surpassing others such as the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

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