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Earthquake damage to Syria stands at $5.1 bln, World Bank says

At the same time, the organization pointed out the difficulty of determining the real extent of damage

WASHINGTON, March 4. /TASS/. The direct physical damage to Syria from earthquakes occurred in February amounts to about $5.1 bln, the World Bank said in the report posted on its official website.

"These losses compound years of destruction, suffering and hardship the people of Syria have been enduring over the past years," Jean-Christophe Carret, the World Bank country director for the Middle East, said in a comment.

"The disaster will cause a decline in economic activity that will further weigh on Syria’s growth prospects," he added.

The actual damage is still difficult to be assessed and preliminary estimates vary from $2.7 to $7.9 bln, not including indirect economic losses, the World Bank said.

The province of Aleppo suffered the greatest damage (45% or $2.3 bln), the World Bank noted. It is followed by provinces of Idlib (37% or $1.9 bln) and Latakia (11%, $549 mln).

On February 6, 7.7 and 7.6-magnitude earthquakes struck Turkey’s Kahramanmaras province in the country’s southeast, nine hours apart. The tremors, followed by hundreds of aftershocks, were also felt in neighboring countries, of which Syria was the hardest hit. On February 20, two new aftershocks with magnitudes of 6.4 and 5.8-magnitude occurred in Turkey’s Hatay province.

According to the Syria’s Ministry of Health, at least 1,414 individuals died and 2,349 suffered from the natural disaster.