President Erdoğan vows swift rebuilding after earthquake in Türkiye
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Gaziantep, one of the provinces hit by Monday’s earthquakes in Türkiye’s south. Erdoğan updated the death toll to 14,014 and told reporters another 63,794 people were injured in the disaster, though the number further increased soon after he announced it. The president said state of emergency he earlier announced will be in force as of Thursday in ten provinces struck by the earthquake while he promised reconstruction to be completed in the region within one year.
Erdoğan, who initially coordinated response to the disaster from a coordination center in the capital Ankara, visited Kahramanmaraş, worst-hit province, on Wednesday and from there, headed to Hatay and Adana. He met survivors and consoled them before observing search and rescue efforts. In Gaziantep, he visited a cluster of tents set up for survivors.
The president said 6,444 buildings were destroyed by tremors and in Gaziantep alone, 944 buildings collapsed. “1,415 people died here and 10,395 others were injured (in Gaziantep),” he said, extending his condolences to the city, one of the major industrial hubs in the region, which also draws a large number of tourists every year.
A three-month state of emergency to speed up rescue and aid efforts in Türkiye’s quake-hit provinces will enter into force later on Thursday, Erdoğan said.
“The state of emergency will be in effect following today’s vote in parliament,” he said while inspecting search and rescue efforts. To speed up search and rescue operations, Türkiye on Tuesday announced a three-month state of emergency in the quake-hit provinces.
Erdoğan said the state of emergency will give an opportunity to foil moneylenders and seditious groups who try to exploit the aftermath of the quake disaster. “Our state has been in the field with all its institutions starting from the moment of the earthquakes,” he added. The president also pledged to rebuild the region as part of a one-year plan. He announced that containers, also coming from abroad, will be distributed to the victims. Containers he referred are used as housing units. He said apartment buildings with four floors at most, will be built for survivors. Like in other earthquake-hit cities, $531 (TL 10,000) will be distributed to each household, Erdoğan said as emergency relief.
“Don’t worry. Just as we recovered from earthquakes in Bingöl, Malatya, Elazığ and İzmir (provinces in the eastern, southeastern and western Türkiye which were hit by devastating earthquakes in recent years) and just as we quickly rebuilt homes, we will recover from this and complete the reconstruction in a short time,” he said.
The president was scheduled to visit Osmaniye and Kilis, other earthquake-hit provinces, later on Thursday.
Source: Daily Sabah
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