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80% of damage assessment completed in Turkiye’s quake zone - Environment Minister

February 23, 2023 at 3:58 pm

An aerial view of a dome of 25 year old Ali Ozturk Mosque collapsed on itself after 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes in Islahiye district of Gaziantep [Halil Fidan – Anadolu Agency]

Authorities have completed 80 per cent of damage assessment in the earthquake zone in southern Turkiye after the powerful 6 February tremors, the country’s Environment Minister said on Thursday, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“The rest will be completed quickly in the coming days,” Murat Kurum, Environment, Urbanisation and Climate Change Minister, told Anadolu’s Editors’ Desk in the quake-hit Adiyaman province.

A total of 7,300 personnel are working to evaluate the damage caused by the twin quakes which jolted more than a dozen provinces, he said.

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The Institution also said destruction or damage was reported in around 164,000 buildings and 518,000 individual units.

The 7.7 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes, centered in the Kahramanmaras province, also shook Gaziantep, Hatay, Adiyaman, Malatya, Kilis, Adana, Diyarbakir, Osmaniye, Sanliurfa and Elazig. Some 13.5 million people were affected by the quakes.

Most of the destroyed buildings were built before 1999, the Institution said, adding no inspection was carried out in these buildings.

He also showed a detailed map of the fault line affecting the areas in Adiyaman, saying authorities “will examine ground quality for soil-related liquefaction” to understand the massive destruction in the city centre.

More than 43,000 people have been killed in the deadly earthquakes in Turkiye according to the country’s disaster management agency, AFAD.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkiye will begin constructing more than 200,000 homes as early as March in areas devastated by the quakes and complete the process within a year.

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