Turkey earthquake: Government plans to build 488,000 new homes within a year

Houses damaged by the earthquake in Elazig Turkey Houses damaged by the earthquake in Elazig Turkey (by Mehmet via Adobe Stock)

Turkey will build a total of 488,000 new homes for victims of last month’s devastating earthquake, its government has announced.

Two earthquakes of magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 struck 11 provinces of Turkey on 6 February. They caused an estimated 45,000 deaths in the country, and thousands more in neighbouring Syria.

They also saw millions of people uprooted along a 200-mile-long path of destruction between the two countries. A total of 200,000 buildings are thought to have been destroyed or seriously damaged in Turkey.

A month on from the disaster, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday (6 March) announced that construction would start on hundreds of thousands of homes.

According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, he said, “Our aim is to start the construction of 244,000 houses and 75,000 village homes in the next two months.” He added that construction of 22,000 of these has already started.

He also said that 100,000 containers would be set up within two months in the region to house 500,000 earthquake victims.

The World Bank has estimated the minimum reconstruction cost in the country following the earthquake at US$35 billion.

Erdogan, who has been in power in Turkey for 20 years, faces a general election later this year. There have been conflicting signals as to when an election could take place given the damage caused by the earthquake but Erdogan indicated last week that they would take place on 14 May.


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