Turkey estimates earthquake damage exceeds $105 billion
An official report announced on Friday by Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Ministry and prepared by the presidency’s department of strategy and budget estimated that the twin earthquakes that struck Turkey and neighbouring Syria on February 6 cost roughly $105.2 billion for the country.
The financial burden from the humanitarian disaster could reach approximately 9% of the national income in 2023, the report predicted.
The support expenditures made to the disaster zones cost about $18.5 billion in national income. While housing damage was the largest contributor to the earthquake’s total burden on the Turkish economy – 54.9% or worth $56.4 billion – the destruction of public infrastructure and service buildings came in second at an estimated $12.7 billion.
Private sector damage, excluding housing but including damage to manufacturing, communication, energy, health, education, and tourism sectors, was calculated as $11.7 billion.
A 7.7 magnitude quake jolted Turkey’s southern province of Kahramanmaras at 4:17 am local time on February 6, followed by a 7.6 magnitude at 1:24 pm local time. The combined death toll from the disaster has exceeded 50,000 in the country and neighbouring Syria, while millions of survivors are homeless.
The toll is expected to rise further in the coming days as tens of thousands of buildings have collapsed across the country and scores of people are still missing. Meanwhile, experts predict an earthquake of unthinkable proportions could hit Istanbul before the end of this decade. A recent study predicted tremors here could kill up to 90,000 people.
Dozens of countries have pledged support for the quake-hit nations, dispatching tonnes of emergency supplies and a number of search and rescue personnel.