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President Erdogan says 488,000 homes will be built for quake victims

Türkiye’s president has vowed to rebuild the country’s southern region, hit last month by powerful earthquakes that claimed the lives of more than 46,104 people.

“Today, as we leave behind the fourth week since the earthquakes, we more clearly see the magnitude of the disaster we experienced and feel the pain of our losses more deeply,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after a Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara.

On February 6, the magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 quakes struck 11 provinces — Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Hatay, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa.

More than 13.5 million people in Türkiye have been affected by the devastating quakes, as well as many others in northwestern Syria.

“Our aim is to start the construction of 244,000 houses and 75,000 village homes in the next two months,” Erdogan said, adding that the construction of 22,000 of these had already begun.

A total of 488,000 new homes will be built for disaster victims in the quake-hit areas within a year, he said.

The president also said that 100,000 containers would be set up within two months in the region for 500,000 earthquake victims to live in better conditions.

‘Speedy transformation’

Erdogan has repeatedly pledged to reconstruct the country’s southern region in the wake of powerful earthquakes that struck earlier this month.

“With the completion of debris removal activities, we are starting the reconstruction and revival of our region,” Erdogan told a press briefing last week in Elbistan district of the Kahramanmaras province, the epicentre of the massive February 6 quakes.

He reiterated that scientists are calling the disaster an “exceptional natural event.”

“While we are reviving the provinces, districts, and villages in the quake-hit region, we will speedily transform other parts of our country that face the same threat,” he said.

The president also warned the public that aftershocks are still continuing and called on them to avoid damaged buildings, adding: “We expect our citizens to be more cautious in this regard.”

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