33,000 buildings severely damaged in earthquake zone in Turkey: ministry

A local resident walks past a destroyed building in Hatay, on February 11, 2023, after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the country's southeast. - Rescuers pulled out children on February 10, 2023, from the rubble of the Turkey-Syria earthquake that struck on February 6, 2023, as the toll approached 23,000 and a winter freeze compounded the suffering for nearly one million people estimated to be in urgent need of food. (Photo by Yasin AKGUL / AFP)

The Turkish Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate announced on Tuesday that 33,143 buildings in 13 provinces were severely damaged by last week’s earthquake in southeastern Turkey, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported.

According to the ministry severely damaged buildings should be demolished immediately. A total of 6,849 buildings are “moderately damaged,” while around 60,000 are only slightly damaged and 108,840 buildings suffered no damage, the ministry said.

Turkey’s most powerful earthquake in almost 100 years, which struck near the city of Gaziantep in the early hours of February 6, has claimed the lives of 32,000 people in Turkey in addition to injuring more than 80,000. Close to 60,000 disaster victims have been evacuated from the region so far, according to the latest official figures.

The 7.8-magnitude quake was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a 7.5-magnitude temblor that jolted the region in the middle of search and rescue efforts the same day.

Turkey is in one of the world’s most active earthquake zones.

The country’s last 7.8-magnitude temblor was in 1939, when 33,000 died in eastern Erzincan province.

Turkey’s Marmara region suffered a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in 1999, leading to the death of more than 17,000 people.

Experts have long warned a large earthquake could devastate İstanbul, a megalopolis of 16 million people filled with rickety homes.

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