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12 Feb, 2023 19:56

Economic toll of Türkiye earthquakes estimated

The disaster could cost the country up to $84 billion, a Turkish business group calculated
Economic toll of Türkiye earthquakes estimated

The devastating earthquakes that struck Türkiye and Syria on Monday could have wreaked $84 billion worth of damage in Türkiye alone, according to a business group cited by Bloomberg. The group’s figure is dramatically higher than previous estimates.

Bloomberg reported the likely price tag on Sunday, citing an unnamed “Turkish business group.” Earlier this week, the US-based Fitch ratings agency claimed that economic losses “appear likely to exceed $2 billion” and could reach $4 billion “or more.” Bank of America put the figure at around $3-5 billion, plus “at least another $2-3 billion needed for supporting impacted people.”

A price tag of $84 billion would represent more than a tenth of Türkiye’s GDP.

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck the province of Gaziantep in southeastern Türkiye on Monday morning, followed hours later by a magnitude 7.6 quake in nearby Kahramanmaras Province. The earthquakes dealt widespread devastation across nine Turkish provinces and in neighboring Syria, killing 22,327 people in Türkiye and injuring 80,278, according to a government tally on Saturday evening.

In Syria, combined figures from the government in Damascus and militant groups in the affected regions put the death toll above 3,500.

The earthquakes were the most powerful to strike Türkiye since the 1939 Erzincan earthquake, a magnitude 7.8 shock that killed an estimated 32,000 people and injured 100,000. The most devastating earthquake to hit Türkiye in recent years struck Kocaeli Province in 1999, killing more than 17,000 people.