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Damage from February earthquakes in Turkey exceeds $104 bln — Erdogan

According to the Turkish leader, 876,000 buildings became uninhabitable after the earthquakes

ANKARA, March 20. /TASS/. According to preliminary data, damages from the earthquakes that rocked southeastern Turkey on February 6 have exceeded $104 billion, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

He made the statement during a video address to participants in an international conference of aid donors to Turkey and Syria, which is now underway in Brussels.

"More than 51,000 people became victims of the earthquakes, more than 105,000 were injured. According to preliminary data, the damage from them (earthquakes - TASS) exceeded $104 billion," Erdogan said. He noted that the natural disaster affected 11 provinces of the country and 14 million people.

According to him, 876,000 buildings became uninhabitable after the earthquakes. During the year, the Turkish authorities plan to build earthquake-proof housing in the southeastern part of the country, Erdogan noted.

"We set the task of building earthquake-resistant houses within a year in those areas where the earthquakes occurred, as many as necessary. Plans call for constructing 650,000 buildings, including 319,000 units of housing stock," Erdogan said. He added that within two months, the authorities plan to resettle about 500,000 people who are currently being housed in container camps.

The Turkish president noted that his country has experienced "the most powerful" earthquakes, the scale of which was such that not a single country would be able to cope with liquidating their consequences on its own.

"Almost 130 countries have sent us aid. I thank each of you on my own behalf and on behalf of my people. We will never forget the solidarity shown by our friends, countries, the EU, the UN and other international organizations in these difficult days," Erdogan said.

The Turkish president added that his country is assisting in the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria, which also suffered from the February earthquakes.

Powerful 7.7-and 7.6-magnitude earthquakes rocked Turkey’s Kahramanmaras Province in the country’s southeast on February 6. The tremors, followed by thousands of aftershocks, were felt in 11 provinces as well as in neighboring countries, of which Syria was the hardest hit.