Earthquake in Turkey and Syria: devastated, the port of Iskenderun was closed

Iskenderun, in southern Turkey, this Tuesday, February 7, 2023. AP - Serdar Ozsoy

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International aid began to arrive on Tuesday February 7 in Turkey, where national mourning was declared for seven days.

The human toll of the terrible earthquake continues to grow.

Turkey has already counted 5,434 dead, while in Syria, 1,872 dead have been recorded.

That is an already tragic provisional total, 7,306 deaths.

Among the destruction: the port of Iskenderun, on the Mediterranean.


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The port of Iskenderun, located a hundred kilometers from the epicenter of the earthquake, has become a landscape of desolation.

In images taken by drones and circulating on Twitter, the asphalt is split, thousands of containers are overturned, and above all, hundreds of others continue to be engulfed in flames.

They caught fire after a new tremor this Tuesday at the start of the afternoon.

Perhaps, according to some experts, due to the presence of hydrocarbons.

A huge black plume still towered over the terminal on Tuesday night.

The rescuers, hampered by its metal obstacles, struggled to reach the flames with their fire hoses.

Smoke rises from burning containers at the port of the earthquake-hit southern Turkish town of Iskenderun.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023. AP - Serdar Ozsoy

The Turkish group Limak, which manages this important container terminal in the Mediterranean, has therefore decided to close it and international operators have followed suit.

The Danish shipowner Maersk and the German Hapag Lloyd have announced the establishment of alternative routes to Egypt, or to the other major Turkish port of Mersin.

In fact, Iskenderun was mainly important for the Turkish internal market, less for regional and international trade.

Turkish maritime authorities were quick to say after the first tremor on Monday that alternative ports in Iskenderun were operational.

►Also listen: Earthquake in Turkey and Syria: the absolute emergency


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