Earthquake in Turkey and Syria: death toll now exceeds 45,000 and over 84,000 buildings destroyed or damaged in Turkey
Sylvie Claire / February 18, 2023
At least 45,000 people were killed in Turkey and Syria in Monday's violent earthquakes.
More than 84,000 buildings have collapsed or been severely damaged in Turkey as a result of the two earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks, the country's urban planning minister said Friday.
More than 7,000 experts inspected more than 684,000 buildings in 11 provinces: 84,726 in total were destroyed or severely damaged, Murat Kurum told reporters.
The damaged buildings must be demolished urgently, he added.
The minister said that the government would begin major reconstruction efforts in several hard-hit cities starting in March. He promised that the new residential projects will be chosen with the utmost care and after precise field studies.
Turkish authorities have been criticized for lax enforcement of construction regulations, which may have contributed to the high death toll.
More than 50 people, including subcontractors, have been arrested in connection with the building collapse, the official Anadolu news agency reported.
The first earthquake of magnitude 7.7 struck Turkey and Syria in the early hours of February 6. Another large tremor was felt a few hours later, followed by more than 4,700 aftershocks.