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Damage from Feb. Quake in Turkiye Exceeds $104 Bln

Mon 20 Mar 2023 | 09:07 PM
Israa Farhan

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the damage caused by the earthquakes that struck southeastern Turkiye on February 6 exceeded $104 billion, according to preliminary data.

This came during a video speech to the participants in an international conference of aid donors to Turkiye and Syria, which is now taking place in Brussels.

"More than 51,000 people became victims of the earthquakes, and more than 105,000 were injured. According to preliminary data, the damage from them (earthquakes) exceeded $104 billion," Erdogan said. 

He pointed out that the natural disaster affected 11 provinces in the country and 14 million people.

According to him, 876,000 buildings became uninhabitable after the earthquakes. Erdogan indicated that the Turkish authorities plan during the year to build earthquake-resistant housing in the southeastern part of the country.

"We set the task of building earthquake-resistant houses within a year in those areas where the earthquakes occurred, as many as necessary. Plans call for constructing 650,000 buildings, including 319,000 units of housing stock," Erdogan highlighted. 

Within two months, he added, the authorities plan to resettle about 500,000 people who are currently staying in container camps.

The Turkish president made it clear that his country witnessed "the most powerful" earthquakes which were of a magnitude such that no single country could deal with its repercussions on its own.

"Almost 130 countries have sent us aid. I thank each of you on my own behalf and on behalf of my people. We will never forget the solidarity shown by our friends, countries, the EU, the UN, and other international organizations in these difficult days," Erdogan said.

The Turkish president added that his country helps deliver humanitarian aid to Syria, which also suffered from the February earthquake.

Strong earthquakes of magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 struck Turkiye's Kahramanmaras province in the southeast of the country on February 6. 

The tremors, which were followed by thousands of aftershocks, were felt in 11 provinces as well as in neighboring countries, of which Syria was the most affected.