First residents take shelter in ‘container city’ in quake-hit İzmir

First residents take shelter in ‘container city’ in quake-hit İzmir

İZMİR – İhlas News Agency
First residents take shelter in ‘container city’ in quake-hit İzmir

Turkey has finished the construction of a “container city,” temporary housing units resembling shipping containers, for earthquake-hit people in the western province of İzmir in 20 days.

The first six families already started accommodating in the city on Nov. 22.

“We have 500 container houses. We have lodged six families now. In time, we will accommodate more people step by step,” said Deputy İzmir Governor Faik Arıcan, who welcomed newcomers with flowers.

According to Arıcan, people who have been living in the tent city built just after the deadly tremor on Oct. 30 will be moved to the container city.

“It is getting cold. We will dismantle the tents and transfer all of the people from there to here,” he added.

The tent city was temporarily built in the Bornova district, while the container city has been constructed in the Bayraklı district, close to the earthquake-hit center.

In a 46,000-meter-square land, 500 container houses spanning 21 meters square have been placed.

According to the officials, each container house consists of a kitchen, a hall, a room and a bathroom.

Two streets in the container city were named after quake survivors, babies Ayda and Elif. Three-year-old Ayda Gezgin was saved from the rubble alive 91 hours after the earthquake, Elif Perinçek, also three, was saved after 65 hours.

“We cannot forget the pain from the quake. But this container can relieve the pain. We will stay here for a while, then we will rent a place of our own,” said Suzan Gezer, 75, who will live with her son, Hakan Kandemir.

“Our building was damaged in the quake. All of our neighbors left it. Now we are here. I want to thank everyone who provided this service to us,” Kandemir said.

“Since the earthquake, I haven’t been able to enter my apartment because it is heavily damaged. I will stay here with my wife and my son. The container house is beautiful,” said Ayhan Özmen, another resident of the makeshift city.

“Our building was damaged. Officials demolished it. We stayed in the tents for a while. Now we have been transferred here. I will stay here with my mom and my daughter,” said Sibel Eskisaraç, another victim who has nowhere else to go.

On Oct. 30, a magnitude-6.6 earthquake hit Turkey’s third-largest city of İzmir, killing 114 people and wounding 1,035 others. Around 1,700 aftershocks hit the area.

By Nov. 2, about 7,600 people had taken shelter in around 2,000 tents pitched in the city.