Earthquake victims evacuate containers
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Southeastern province of Van was hit with a 7.2 magnitude on October 23, 2011, since then thousands of locals were placed in container cities.The container cities built after the October 2011 earthquake in Van, located in eastern Turkey, are being evacuated and their residents moved into houses built by the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ), according to the Van Deputy Governor Mehmet Özel.
Özel told the Hürriyet Daily News that only 920 containers were left out of the 11,486 built in 35 container cities right after the earthquake, which hit the region with a 7.2 magnitude for 25 seconds on October 23, 2011. The epicenter of the earthquake was a nearby village, located only 17 kilometers away from Van city center, which had led to about 600 deaths and more than 4,000 injuries.
“There are people who do not want to leave the containers but there will be no interventions toward them. I myself live in a prefabricated house,” said the Deputy Governor. He said that the water and electricity bills of the citizens residing in the containers were being covered by the government.
Özel said that the construction plans had been renewed and if the local administrations acted responsibly and stuck to the plans Van would not be caught unprepared by another earthquake.
“We have looked over all of the topics in relation to the urbanization plans of Van; its roads, its waterworks,” said Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay today in Van at the ceremony organized to draw the owners of the houses built by TOKİ for the victims of the earthquake. “We have renewed the city waterworks [of Van], which is actually the municipality’s job.”
Atalay added that a new water line was being built at the length of 48 kilometers which would solve the water supply problem, and that the victims who were tenants at the time of the earthquake would also to receive houses.