Earthquakes shake Türkiye again; sea level rise feared

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, February 20: Within two weeks of a devastating spell of earthquakes, Türkiye was shaken again on Monday. Türkiye’s disaster management agency AFAD said that 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Hatay’s Defne district. Another jolt of 5.8 magnitude hit Hatay’s Samandag district, added the AFAD.

The twin jolts came within hours of the visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Hatay province. Incidentally, Hatay is one of Türkiye’s 11 southern provinces, which was hit by the February 6 twin tremors. Erdogan was accompanied by Devlet Bahceli, who is leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) of Türkiye. Erdogan is facing flaks within the country for alleged tepid rescponse to the rescue and relief operations even while international aid poured in to provide immediate response to the devastated country.

The AFAD warned the people to stay away from coastline, stating that there’s a risk of water rising 50 centimetres above the sea level. A few years ago Bali in Indonesia was devastated by tsunami, which was triggered by mighty earthquakes.

Meanwhile, Türkiye’s Communications Directorate has said that the state agencies are working in coordination for damage assessment, which is being carried out after the two earthquakes hit the Hatay province on Monday.

So far, the state agencies have stated that at least 41,156 people have been killed and 105,505 were injured by two strong earthquakes followed by several aftershocks which struck the country since February 6. The tremors were centered in Kahramanmaras province of the country. The AFAD has said that the devastations impacted more than 13 million people across 11 provinces in southern Türkiye.

Erdogan during his visit to the quake-hit Kahramanmaras province said that arrangement have been made for 40,000 tents and 3,000 containers sheltering 300,000 people in the province even while one-third of the province remains uninhabitable. “We will rebuild Kahramanmaras for all the quake victims. Mosques, tombs, churches, synagogues and other registered cultural assets affected by the quakes will be repaired and rebuilt in line with their historical context,” said Erdogan.

Incidentally, the construction of new buildings will start in March, as Erdogan said that the reconstruction works will be carried out scientifically and the victims will be moved to newly new houses within a year.

So far several international and national agencies have rescued a total of 1,14,000 people in the country after the tremors flattened several townships, leaving over 1.6 million people in shelter camps.

India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had returned back to the country on Sunday after spending almost 12 days in the earthquake-hit country.

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