Turkey’s Ministry of Finance and Treasury has published the first official damage report on the twin earthquakes of February 6 and put the bill at around 2 trillion Turkish lira, or some $130.6 billion.
“The cost of the disaster of the century to our country is approximately 2 trillion Turkish lira (103.6 billion dollars), which corresponds to approximately 9 per cent of our national income expectation for 2023 and shows that we have material damage and losses approximately six times more than the 1999 Marmara Earthquake,” the ministry said on Twitter.
The total material damage of the earthquakes registering 7.9 and 7.7 magnitudes on the Richter scale is equal to more than one eighth of the country’s GDP in 2021, registered as $819 billion.
According to the report, 1,6 trillion Turkish liras of damage came from destroyed buildings, businesses, factories, housing and machinery loses.
The rest of the damage is caused by insurance payments as well as stopping manufacturing in the earthquake area, which includes some of the major industrial hubs of the country, including Adana, Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras.
The report highlighted the grim situation of the housing problem after the devastating quakes.
“The number of residences in 11 provinces affected by the earthquake is 5.6 million, and its share in the total housing stock in Turkey is 14.05 per cent,” the report said.
So far, it is estimated that nearly 48,500 people were killed and millions were left without homes in Turkey’s 11 southern and south-eastern provinces when they were devastated by the earthquakes of February 6.
In the earthquake zone, which was home to nearly 15 million people, more than two million people have migrated to western towns and cities, and millions of others continue to live outdooors in tent camps and prefabricated houses.
Many towns and cities still have difficulties with clean water, electricity, food and heating.
According to experts, the economic effects of the earthquakes will continue to impact the region for years and even decades.