Rescuers carry out search operations among the rubble of collapsed buildings in Adiyaman, Turkey, days after a 7,8-magnitude earthquake struck southeast Turkey.
PHOTO: Ilyas Akengin, AFP
- The death toll in Turkey from a major earthquake that hit the region last month has reached 48 448.
- Authorities are setting up container cities to house those left homeless.
- The death toll included 6 660 foreign nationals.
The death toll in Turkey from last month’s major earthquakes has risen to 48 448, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Monday, as authorities rush to set up container cities to house those left homeless by the disaster.
The combined death toll including those killed in Syria has climbed to more than 54 000.
Speaking at a news conference in Malatya, one of the provinces hit by the quakes, Soylu said the toll in Turkey included 6 660 foreign nationals, mostly Syrians, adding that authorities were still trying to identify 1 615 victims.
The earthquake and subsequent powerful tremors injured more than 115 000 in Turkey and left millions sheltering in tents or seeking to move to other cities.
President Tayyip Erdogan has pledged to rebuild homes within a year, but it will be many months before thousands can leave their tents or container housing.
Soylu said the government plans to set up 115 585 containers for as many families in 239 sites across the affected region. He said 23 sites had been established so far and 21 000 containers were set up, with 85 000 people living in them.
He said 433 536 tents had been set up since the earthquake in 354 sites, adding that businesses would be given new temporary workplaces in the next 10 days.
During a visit on Sunday to Hatay, one of the worst-hit regions, Erdogan said Qatar had pledged to send 10 000 containers, which were used during the soccer World Cup.
Soylu said of the 36 257 buildings that collapsed, the rubble of 5 321 had been cleared, while 6 000 of 18 219 buildings slated for immediate demolition had been knocked down and the resulting rubble cleared.
He said the collapsed buildings and those slated for immediate demolition made up only 25% of the work, while other heavily damaged buildings that need to be demolished and cleared make up 75%.