World Bank Estimates Feb. 6 Earthquakes Caused $34.2 Billion in Damage in Turkey

The two major earthquakes which hit Turkey on Feb. 6 caused about $34.2 billion in direct physical damage, but total reconstruction and recovery costs facing the country could be twice as high, the World Bank said on Monday, Reuters reported. The bank estimates that the earthquakes would also shave at least half a percentage point off Turkey's forecast gross domestic product growth of 3.5% to 4% in 2023, Humberto Lopez, World Bank country director for Turkey, told reporters. The situation in Syria, which was also affected by the quakes, was "really catastrophic", said Anna Bjerde, World Bank Group vice president for Europe and Central Asia. The bank will release a separate damage estimate for Syria on Tuesday. Bjerde said the initial rapid damage assessment for Turkey of $34.2 billion was equivalent to about 4% of its economic output in 2021, but that did not include indirect or secondary impacts on the growth of its economy, or the most recent earthquake a week ago. "Our experience is that reconstruction needs can run as high as two to three times the estimated direct physical damage," she said. The Feb. 6 earthquakes of 7.8 magnitude and 7.5 magnitude, the most deadly in modern Turkey's history, killed more than 44,300 people. Read more.