Turkish government commences urgent urban transformation for earthquake-hit cities

World Faizah Kamal 27-Jan-2020
Turkey earthquake aftermath
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In the wake of a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that occurred in Turkey on January 24 and claimed at least 40 lives, the government is set to commence an urban transformation project in the eastern province of Elazığ. The government saw the earthquake as a wake-up call, following the collapse of several earthquake-prone buildings, vowing to replace them with disaster-resilient buildings.

Speaking at a press conference in Elazığ on January 27, three days after the deadly quake jolted the city, Environment and Urbanisation Minister Murat Kurum said at least 2,000 new residences will be built as part of the urban transformation project.

“We are starting the production of 2,000 new residences [in southern province of Mardin’s Yemişli district]. Field works and planning have started as of today [January 27],” Kurum said.

According to the most recent figures the minister provided, 53 buildings, in Elazığ’s centre and two districts, have been crashed to the ground. Some 22 out of this figure need to be “urgently demolished,” Kurum said. The demolition of the said buildings started on January 26, he said.

Meanwhile in the nearby province of Malatya, there are 155 damaged buildings, the minister said.

Kurum also stated that the government will actualise urban transformation projects in both the Mustafa Paşa and Sürsürü neighbourhoods of eastern Elazığ. He said meetings with citizens concerning the matter have already started.

“We will lay the [constructions’] foundations in February at the latest and deliver the residences by the end of [2020],” he added.

Kurum also mentioned that damage assessment works on 73 buildings near the damaged ones in the Mustafa Kemal neighbourhood are ongoing. “We will finalise these works in three days,” he added.