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  • David Abraham

The Economic Ramifications of Turkey's Earthquakes

On February 6th, 2023, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Turkey's southern province of Kahramanmaraş, causing widespread destruction and loss of life. The country is located in a seismically active region and is prone to earthquakes of varying magnitudes. The earthquake was felt across the border in Syria and was followed by numerous aftershocks, adding to the damage and fear among residents. The earthquake caused buildings to collapse and infrastructure to crumble.


The death toll has risen to over 41,000 people, with thousands more injured and left homeless. The Turkish government and local and international organizations have launched a massive rescue and relief operation, with teams working around the clock to search for survivors and provide assistance to those in need.


This earthquake is not an isolated event, and Turkey has a history of devastating earthquakes. In 1999, a magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck the northwestern city of Istanbul, killing more than 17,000 people and injuring over 44,000. Since then, the government has taken steps to improve earthquake preparedness and building codes, but much still needs to be done to better protect the country's citizens from the impacts of these natural disasters.


The recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria have also had significant economic impacts on both countries. The immediate aftermath of the earthquakes has resulted in significant damage to infrastructure and buildings, including homes, schools, and hospitals. The cost of rebuilding and repairing these structures will be substantial and will put a strain on already limited resources in both countries.


Alongside this, Turkey is a popular tourist destination and the damage caused by the earthquake is likely to have a significant impact on the local tourism industry. This will result in a loss of revenue for the local economy and could lead to job losses for those working in the tourism sector.


The earthquake has also disrupted transportation and communication networks, which will have an impact on the movement of goods and services in the region. This will impact local businesses and could result in a slowdown in economic activity. The earthquake has also disrupted the supply chain, making it difficult for businesses to access the materials they need to operate.

In Syria, the earthquake has added to the already dire humanitarian crisis in the country. The country is currently facing a significant economic crisis, with power struggles, unemployment, and poverty. The earthquake has added to the economic hardship faced by the Syrian people, who are already struggling to make ends meet. The damage caused by the earthquake is likely to have a significant impact on the country's already fragile economy and could result in a further slowdown in economic activity.


This tragedy has been met with immediate, decisive economic action from the world's agents, with the world bank donating 780 million US dollars to repair infrastructure damages, with another 1 billion dollars committed for further support. The US has pledged 85 million in support, with the EU, UK, Australia and China also donating to support humanitarian aid. Aswell as financial aid, rescue specialists and supplies have been sent to Turkey in an effort to pull people from the rubble and help people who have been made homeless and are suffering from freezing temperatures. The US has also waived all sanctions with Syria related to the rescue operation for six months, making it easier for Syrians to access US aid.

It is now 10 days since the initial earthquake hit, and the rescue operation continues. Tangible aid has been seen by the world's major players, but more is still needed to save as many lives as possible and restore Turkey and Syria to normality.

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