As a result of two major earthquakes in Kahramanmaras on 6 February, thousands of our people were killed and countless were injured. In addition, the vast geography affected by the earthquake suffered great physical damage. Thousands of buildings, residences and businesses were destroyed. Of course, the moral destruction caused by an earthquake is extremely insignificant compared to the material destruction. However, now that search and rescue has been replaced by garbage collection, the question of “what will be the cost of an earthquake for the Turkish economy” is waiting to be answered. According to experts, the cost of earthquakes tends to increase day by day depending on various variables. For this reason, it is almost impossible to make an accurate calculation of the cost. Nevertheless, it is possible to come up with some figures that reveal the economic aspect of the destruction. Let’s look at the details together.
According to some experts, it is necessary to consider the cost of earthquakes in two dimensions.
The first is the cost to the shoulders of earthquake survivors who lost their city, neighborhood, job, workplace, home, and family to the earthquake. According to experts, the economic difficulties that have been going on for a long time, combined with the earthquake, unfortunately increase the financial difficulties that earthquake survivors face and will remain.
During the period when the poverty line is 29 thousand 875 Turkish liras, and the limit of hunger is 8 thousand 865 Turkish liras. It is not easy to imagine or imagine the material loss of earthquake survivors who lost their savings overnight due to the earthquake. The material damage caused cannot be determined.
The second stage of the cost of an earthquake is general business expenses.
However, information about the destruction of materials caused by an earthquake is constantly updated. For this reason, it is very difficult to express on paper the material damage caused by the demolition. However, experts have some research to at least assess the material scale of the destruction and roughly answer the question of what the earthquake will cost the Turkish economy. Accordingly, the second part of the main elements that make up the cost of an earthquake is the total costs after the earthquake.
The first item of these expenses includes the repair of damaged buildings, urban regeneration and infrastructure costs. The second item of general expenses is the cost of restoring the lost production capacity in the earthquake zone.
Experts estimate that the cost of rebuilding houses destroyed or badly damaged by the earthquake alone is approximately $20 billion.
However, some elements can significantly increase the cost of restoration. For example, a decision may be made to build new settlements in areas away from the fault line. This will lead to an increase in both the number of houses under construction and the cost of infrastructure.
On the other hand, it is claimed that between $3 billion and $5 billion is needed to cover the annual housing and living expenses of many of our citizens whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the earthquake. In other words, at a rough estimate, the initial cost of an earthquake to the Turkish economy in the short term is approximately $25 billion. However, the price of an earthquake is not limited to this.
Disruption of production activities in a seismic zone also entails large costs in terms of the economy.
If the resulting loss of income is taken into account, the cost of an earthquake to the country’s economy would increase significantly. In addition, experts remind that after the earthquake on August 17 in our country there was a decrease of up to 40 percent of tourism revenues. It is possible that the situation will be similar today. In this case, you can easily say that the account will grow a little more.
Since the damage assessment has not yet been completed, it is not possible to accurately calculate the cost of the earthquake.
In addition, the road map that must be followed to eliminate traces of destruction has not been fully disclosed. It is difficult to predict how fast airports, highways, district and city centers will be updated. On the other hand, it is not clear which settlements will be completely rebuilt. However, experts say that despite all the uncertainties, the cost of an earthquake will be approximately 2-3 percent of GDP, and other total costs will be close to that.
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