Turkish city mayor hailed as hero for quake-surviving buildings


Residents of the Turkish city of Erzin, Hatay province, considered Mayor Okkesh Elmasoglu a hero, since during the devastating earthquake that occurred in Turkey and Syria on February 6, almost all the buildings in Erzin survived. This was reported on February 13 by the news portal Hurriyet Daily News.

The mayor said that there were no casualties on the territory of the city, since the authorities did not allow illegal construction. In Erzin, with a population of 42,000, only a few houses and minarets of mosques were damaged. At the same time, it was the province of Hatay, where the city is located, that suffered the most from the elements.

“I did not allow illegal construction in any way. Despite this, there were those who tried to circumvent the ban,” Elmasoglu explained.

He acknowledged that there were unscrupulous developers in the city, in connection with which they were reported to the prosecutor’s office and it was decided to demolish the constructed buildings.

Also, the minimum destruction in Erzin could be affected by the fact that most of the buildings in the city are no higher than six floors, which is also important for earthquake resistance.

Earlier on Tuesday, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that more than 8,000 people had been pulled alive from the rubble in the country, and many of the 81,000 victims had already been discharged from hospitals.

As of February 14, the number of earthquake victims in Turkey rose to 31,974. Almost 195,962 victims were evacuated from the earthquake zone.

Earthquakes of magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 occurred on February 6 in the province of Kahramanmarash in southeastern Turkey near the border with Syria. Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was the strongest since 1939. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that in Syria, a natural disaster claimed the lives of 8.5 thousand people.


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