ANKARA, February 22. /TASS/. About half million people have been left homeless in the Kahramanmaras province that suffered from the devastating earthquakes in the country’s southeast, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said at a news conference on Tuesday.
"We continue to set up tent cities and shipping container cities in an effort to meet our people’s demand for housing. We currently provide shelter to 461,000 people in tents, public buildings, dormitories, schools and other places across all of Kahramanmaras," he said in televised remarks.
According to the president, "the process of renovating cities will be accelerated to once and for all leave behind the time when people are trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings." Erdogan reiterated the government’s plans to provide new housing within a year to the people that live in the earthquake-stricken provinces.
Powerful 7.7 and 7.6-magnitude earthquakes rocked Turkey’s Kahramanmaras province in the country’s southeast on February 6, nine hours apart from each other. The tremors, followed by thousands of aftershocks, were felt in 11 provinces as well as in neighboring countries, of which Syria was hardest hit. The death toll in Turkey has surpassed 44,000 people.