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Quake Miracles Warm Hearts Worldwide, Prospects Grim for Others as Death Toll Passes 11,000

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JERUSALEM, Israel  – The death toll has risen past 11,000 in Syria and Turkey as more bodies are discovered in the rubble after two devastating earthquakes on Monday. The disaster has created a worldwide effort to bring help and hope to people overwhelmed by the catastrophe.

Relief workers, search and rescue teams and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) are arriving in Turkey and Syria, ready to help.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan called the earthquakes history-making. “Experts describe these two earthquakes, which are independent but triggered each other, as exceptional ground movements, unique in the world," he said. "The size of the opened fault lines caused a massive destruction in a very huge area. For this reason, we are facing the worst disaster in the region and the world, not just in the history of our Republic."

CLICK HERE to Help Operation Blessing Provide Relief Effort in Turkey

While more rescue workers pour in from around the world, the stories of agony and relief continue, with the images on social media at once heartwrenching and heartwarming.

One father grieved for his baby killed in the earthquake. 

Another father holds the hand of his dead daughter in the rubble. 

A video shows a trapped little girl receiving water from a bottle cap.

Yet there are stories of dramatic and miraculous survival. In Syria, hundreds of onlookers roared in celebration when a family was freed after being trapped for almost two days.

A baby born earlier this week in the rubble is now in the hospital and doing well. And a sister and brother that many saw trapped under concrete have been rescued and are safe. 

Rescue workers are now racing to find more people buried and more stories of hope. 

To help the living, Israel has mobilized a search and rescue team already on the ground and today will be sending its state-of-the-art field hospital. 

Brig. Gen. Prof. Elon Glassberg, Israel Defense Forces, chief medical officer, explained, “The ability to provide such advance care in a disaster area, launching it across borders, is unique. Very few countries in the world are able to do such a thing and we’re proud that we’re the ones who are able to help. We’re done that in the past. We’ll continue to do that. It’s in our nature.” 

Among the many NGOs that have responded to the disaster is CBN's Operation Blessing, where Diego Traverso filed a report. 

“Operation Blessing is on the ground in Turkey," Traverso said. "Right now, as you know, the recent events with the earthquake that happened affect the whole northern region of Syria and Turkey and has been devastating.  Thousands of people lost their lives.  Thousands of people lost their homes, their shelter, where they were sleeping. And right now, the weather is not helping at all.  The snowstorm is very intense.  The weather is very, very cold.  People are sleeping on the streets, under a tarp." 

CLICK HERE to Help Operation Blessing Provide Relief Effort in Turkey

"Operation Blessing assessment team is here on the ground to see how we can reach the people that is in need right now." he continued. "Keep us in prayer. Keep Syria and Turkey in your prayers. We're going to be here for the next couple days. You will know better the situation, how we can support those families that lost everything. Thank you so much for your prayers, and your support."

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