One year after deadly earthquakes: Turkey remains resilient in recovery

The earthquakes which caused widespread destruction still witness a majority of its residents living in container cities, which are its temporary shelters.

SYAHIRAH MOKHTAZAR
SYAHIRAH MOKHTAZAR
08 Feb 2024 08:16pm
A sneak peek of the container city, where hundreds of thousands of residents temporarily live.
A sneak peek of the container city, where hundreds of thousands of residents temporarily live.
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TURKEY - One year since the twin deadly earthquakes shattered homes across 11 provinces in Turkey, the nation is on the road to recovery.

The earthquakes which caused widespread destruction still witnessed a majority of its residents living in container cities, which were its temporary shelters.

The Turkish government has been working tirelessly to rebuild homes, health facilities, mosques, social centres and various critical infrastructures to ensure a comprehensive recovery for the affected communities.

As part of its one-year anniversary post-earthquake, foreign press outlets including Sinar Daily were invited on a tour to visit the affected locations.

The initiative aimed to provide journalists to a better understanding of the challenges faced by the affected regions and the remarkable resilience displayed by the communities in the aftermath of the earthquakes.

In Malatya, its Governor Ersin Yazici provided information on the pressing issues faced by the city, including the presence of ghost buildings, the challenge of dust management that emerged from the rubble and the rising number of theft cases.

Malatya Governor Ersin Yazici
Malatya Governor Ersin Yazici

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“This was the disaster of the century. Thankfully, when the earthquake occurred in Malatya, most of the people were outside the building as it happened in the afternoon.

“We are now focused on using all our power and skills and experience to find solutions to the problems from the aftermath,” he said.

The Turkish Housing Authority (TOKI) is constructing new homes for residents and it was revealed that the units will be handed over to the earthquake victims following a lottery between applicants very soon.

New houses are underway for residents to move in, very soon.
New houses are underway for residents to move in, very soon.

Over in Adiyaman, about 8,387 people died in the wake of the terrible disaster.

However, they were making positive strides in recovery where the city has now largely been cleared of rubble and the heavily damaged buildings are now in its demolition phase.

Adiyaman Governor Osman Varol said: “About 33,112 buildings in the city were determined as ‘collapsed’, ‘urgently needed to be demolished’ and ‘severely damaged’.

“The process of the demolishing continues until it reaches the final stage,” he said.

Similar to Malatya, Adiyaman has also established container cities in the province as temporary shelters for its residents, until they get to move into their new homes which were currently being built and expected to be ready soon.

On Feb 6, last year, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit parts of Turkey and Syria and was marked as the largest earthquake in Turkey since the 1939 Erzincan earthquake of the same magnitude.

Other provinces in the region that were heavily affected were Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Gaziantep, Kilis, Diyarbakır, Adana, Osmaniye, Elâzığ and Şanlıurfa.

The rescue and relief efforts were hampered by the winter storms and damaged roads. However, more than 94 countries joined to help the earthquake victims.

Malaysia reportedly channeled over RM20 million in humanitarian aid to help earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.