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7 Mar, 2023 15:17

Turkish quake damage costs rising

Türkiye and Syria are still reeling from the devastating earthquakes in February
Turkish quake damage costs rising

Financial losses arising from the earthquakes that hit southern and central Türkiye last month will exceed $100 billion, UN Development Programme official Louisa Vinton said on Tuesday. The sum does not include Syria.

On February 6, Türkiye and neighboring Syria were rocked by major earthquakes. As of March 6, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu estimates the death toll to be 45,960, including 4,267 Syrians.

The 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude quakes – the most deadly in modern Turkish history – left millions in need of humanitarian aid, while many remain homeless after thousands of buildings collapsed.

“It's clear from the calculations being done to date that the damage figure presented by the government and supported by … international partners would be in excess of $100 billion,” Vinton said at a press briefing ahead of a major donor conference scheduled for next week.

According to the official, who spoke via video link from the Turkish city of Gaziantep, the provisional figure that covers just Türkiye is being used as a basis for the conference in Brussels to mobilize financial aid for earthquake victims on March 16.

Vinton noted that Türkiye's Hatay province, which suffered the worst damage, looked “apocalyptic,” adding that hundreds of thousands of homes had been destroyed.

“The needs are vast, but the resources are scarce,” she said.

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