Turkey commemorates 1st anniversary of devastating earthquake

One year ago, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine felt the devastating earthquake that killed thousands and displaced hundreds.

  • Firefighters search for people in the rubble of a destroyed building, in Gaziantep, southeastern Turkey, Wednesday, February 8, 2023. (AP)

Today marks the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria, killing more than 53,000 people. 

Turkish schoolchildren were exempted Tuesday from classes in several provinces affected by the natural disaster. 

Numerous survivors reside in the container city of Umut Kent in Kahramanmaras. Local mental health support workers informed Sputnik that families seek their counsel due to anxieties stemming from the earthquakes and the loss of loved ones. Additionally, they express concerns regarding challenges related to living in containers, family issues, unemployment, and other circumstances arising from their new living arrangements.

A year ago, thousands of individuals found themselves trapped under the debris of collapsed residential structures, enduring freezing conditions. Merely nine hours later, another earthquake of 7.6 magnitude hit the same region, further shocking survivors already grappling with the aftermath.

The total damage from the devastating earthquakes exceeded $105 billion, with approximately 300,000 buildings across 11 provinces either destroyed or severely damaged.

Turkish authorities persist in their investigation into contractors associated with the collapsed buildings. Some of these contractors have fled abroad to evade trial, with many claiming that the structures were constructed under all regulations.

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