6 months after quakes, efforts ongoing to rebuild cities

6 months after quakes, efforts ongoing to rebuild cities

6 months after quakes, efforts ongoing to rebuild cities

It's been exactly six months since the devastating earthquakes jolted Türkiye’s south, bringing massive destruction, loss of life and trauma to those left behind, as the country continues intensive infrastructure and construction works to rebuild the cities and bring relief to survivors and heal their wounds.

The twin earthquakes of magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 on Feb. 6 shook 11 southern provinces, claiming the lives of more than 50,000 people and leaving many homeless.

In Hatay, where one out of every two buildings collapsed or was severely damaged, a significant number of survivors who lost their houses or workplaces have moved to the surrounding provinces since the first day of the quakes.

The historical city, home to many civilizations for centuries, also lost several cultural and religious heritage in the earthquakes.

Providing information regarding the latest efforts for the city, Hatay Governor Mustafa Masatlı stated that approximately 50 percent of the debris has been cleared, including the rubble from buildings that collapsed in the disaster and were demolished after the quake. Masatlı added that Hatay will be completely cleared of debris within approximately 100 days.

On the other hand, the aerial view of the city taken with a drone reveals, once again, the extent of the destruction in the southern city. With ongoing debris removal works, vacant areas in which buildings were located before the Feb. 6 earthquakes have turned into almost large and quiet squares in the southern province of Hatay.

Especially in the historical district of Antakya, where massive destruction occurred, large and empty spaces took the place of the collapsed buildings following the removal works.

Nearly 10 percent of the construction machinery in Türkiye is being used for debris removal in Hatay, Masatlı stated, citing that despite the earthquake's epicenter being in Kahramanmaraş, 50 percent of the destruction occurred in Hatay.

Touching upon the housing needs of quake survivors in Hatay, Masatlı also noted that within three weeks, all citizens living in tents will be relocated to container houses or other temporary accommodation centers.

In Kahramanmaraş, where 12,659 people died in the quakes, 53,000 buildings suffered severe damage, while 20,000 businesses became unusable. The debris removal efforts have been completed in the province.

In a bid to rebuild the quake-stricken cities, the Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Ministry initiated the “On-Site Transformation Project” to provide grants and credit support to those who choose to rebuild their structures in the quake-hit provinces.